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“We practically stole Messi from Spain”

Enrique Gastañaga Buenos Aires Correspondent

While the Barcelona try to see how he recovers after being hit by the Champions League what did the PSG at Camp Nou, appears on the scene Jose Pekerman, break the silence of a time more than long and park in Lionel messi with more than interesting definitions. Some remember the exact moment you chose to play for Argentina before by Spain. Others become a kind of advice for the genius to consider when solving his future.

It was the coach who moved heaven and earth so that the phenomenon opted for the blue and white. He was the one who directed him in his first World Cup, the one in Germany 2006. He was the one to whom Leo dedicated a Ballon d’Or. Go if the testimony of Pekerman.

First Jose refers to the tumultuous episodes that the 10 has lived with the Barcelona in the last time: “It is not pleasant, it is not happy, to see what has happened to Messi. He had made the decision to leave at the time, he was convinced and it seemed that he had no way back. From everything that has been happening, it seems that he was totally correct at the time. It is difficult to talk about internal issues. You have to be in the place. Each club has a special situation ”.

José Pekerman, left, former Argentina coachJosé Pekerman, left, former Argentina coach

To understand why Messi wanted to leave last year from Barça, Pekerman He explains: “He has been the emblem, or as Guardiola said the icing on the cake, of a generation of Barcelona that for a decade delighted us. Like every cycle, it always has a stage of decay, which is general. Sometimes the out of series are the ones who can suffer the most from these falls. So it must be a very hard time for Lionel, for his family. I hope it can be solved and they don’t finish it. He looks very good individually. He still has a lot to give ”.

The best advice is to give free rein to what you have always naturally wanted

“We practically stole Messi from Spain”

¿Messi has to continue in the Barcelona? The question appears and the former coach of Argentina and Colombia answers it: “It is difficult to advise. There is no one but you and your inner circle to figure things out. If we analyze your career and all your choices to become what you were, the best advice is to give free rein to what you have always naturally desired. How was your decision when we went to look for it and we practically stole it from Spain”.

There the talk with TNT Sports Continental begins to change course in a certain way, also including a selection nuance: “We already had videos, reports … At that time I had moved away from the Selection. I had gone to Leganés. We were there and there we saw him play in youth Barça. The regulations, which have now been modified, at that time prevented players who had played in youth teams from playing for other teams. South American and world youth tournaments were coming. It was clear that the Spanish team were going to call him. Lio’s decision was fundamental. Your mom and dad will let you decide. And he said: ‘I’m Argentine and I want to play for Argentina.’ It was a decision of the heart and feeling. He always made those decisions, like when he also decided to go as a child to Spain Y Barcelona it opened its doors to him ”. And round Pekerman back to Messi and his future: “The advice I could humbly give you, beyond all the legal things that I don’t know, is to make the decision that makes you happier both on the court and outside.”

Rijkaard saw Messi and couldn’t believe it

Then yes José remembers the first moments of Messi in the selection Argentina And it goes up to the day when he amazed the Barcelona already Rijkaard: “The first management to be transferred to the youth was I in the Barcelona. It was necessary to make an international friendly, with the player’s signature of the roster. That was the record to establish that he had chosen that selection. I started that management before Laporta. I approached, introduced myself and asked to be authorized to play that game. The management was going to do it later AFA. And that famous match with Paraguay on the court of Argentines”.

Complete Pekerman: “After playing the first South American youth tournament when he returns to Spain, Rijkaard takes him for the first time to a preseason with Barcelona. Then one day the club called me and they asked me to talk. I got scared. I thought they were going to reproach me for something. I went with great concern. When I arrived, they asked me, looking at me seriously: ‘What did you do to Messi? ‘. I tried to explain. Until they reassured me by saying: ‘That boy is another. We already knew it was a project, but in the long term. Saw it Rijkaard and you can’t believe it. He’s driving us crazy to start the process for his community passport. ‘ They had seen him very aggressive. And I attributed it to playing with boys who Argentina they were already in First: Omen, Say Maria, Lavezzi… And he in Spain He was far from the First … He was a great team. I think that he was infected there and made a very big change, especially in the emotional and temperamental part. He showed it right away and surprised. I came to that conclusion ”.

Messi dedicated to Pekerman a Golden Ball with very complimentary words, although that episode is usually relegated by that closing of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, with Leo sitting on the bench and with him as DT. Obviously José rescues those caresses with words that the 10 gave him some time later: “They are very personal things. The sensitivity I highlight a lot. Sometimes we get carried away by something and forget other very important things. That for me was something extraordinary ”.

It must be in a place where it is active, competitive

Does not elude Pekerman the football situation in that world: “In Germany, he turned 19 years old. I knew he had a great team. And he was a guy who was in a weird moment. I had not lived in Argentine changing rooms, I had grown up in a very different environment … I spoke to him clearly and said: ‘You are going to be the best in the world, but this World Cup is not going to be yours yet. It will be your appearance and you will have minutes. But it has to serve you to listen, to speak with those with more experience, with Heinze, Roman, Curly, Milito, Cambiasso. Come closer, let go … That will help you because your World Cup will be in South Africa. The same with all that bet, the image that remained is that he did not enter that last game, in the last change … In that same bank there were still Pablito
Aimar, Saviola, Palace, an extraordinary bank. And was cross that in those final minutes he was going to give us something important. Later, the result punishes … We cannot change that and that image remained ”.

Without being asked again about the future of Messi, at the close of the question and answer game, Pekerman He returned to crack and the decision that will soon come: “Lionel It must be in a place where you can stay active, competitive. Have your motivation. Certainly in the Selection he will have it like never before. It is essential that it arrives well. This will surely take into account. I hope I make the best decision ”, he concluded.