Lionel Messi admits he “deeply regrets” Champions League tantrum

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Lionel Messi has expressed his regret over the decision to snub Barcelona’s celebratory night out after their 2006 Champions League triumph over Arsenal.

The attacker was unavailable for selection in the final at the Stade de France owing to a hamstring injury.

His frustration boiled over so much that he opted against joining his teammates for a night out following their title victory.

Messi, who was 18-years old at the time, was still trying to forge himself as a first-team regular in Frank Rijkaard’s side.

The striker had just nine goals to his name at the time and would have missed the chance for his first taste of European glory.



Carles Puyol (C) of Barcelona lifts the trophy with celebrating team mates after they win the UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Stade de France on May 17, 2006
Barcelona lifting the trophy in 2006 – at a time when Messi was a little less known

Speaking to AS, he said: “I’m sorry I didn’t [go out]. I didn’t realise what was happening. At that moment I was thinking about not having played.

“At least I would have liked to be on the bench that night. Until my injury (tear against Chelsea in the Round of 16), I participated in every Champions League in my career.

“I was disappointed. I deeply regret that episode. We won that Champions League and I was not sure what would happen again because it is a difficult competition to win. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to enjoy it.”

The Paris Saint-Germain striker also bemoaned the fame he’s received from his career, saying he would like to be able to go unnoticed sometimes.

Do you think Messi should’ve won the Ballon d’Or? Let us know in the comments section.



A young Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi went on to become one of the club’s greatest ever players

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said: “I have been Messi for 34 years, so I am starting to get used to it. I am happy with everything that has happened.

“Although sometimes I have to admit that I would like to go unnoticed, enjoy my family without people recognise me.

“I do not complain, on the contrary, it is always nice to receive a compliment, a smile, or someone who asks me for a photo.

“I am used to it and for me, it has become normal. So very good.”

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