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Messi: I prefer to start on the bench

Messi

Lionel Messi has said he does not like to be substituted and would rather start the game from the bench.

La Liga President on Messi
Messi

In the past, the Barcelona captain has refused to be taken out of a game even when his team is winning by a big margin.

“I don’t like to be replaced,” Messi told TyC Sports. “I prefer to come from the bench and play less than to be taken out.

“I say that because a lot of games are resolved near the end of the game, or you find more spaces then because you have more rivals that are tired. I prefer to come in and enjoy it than to leave and miss out on the best.”

Messi has scored 674 goals in 829 games for Barcelona and Argentina but said scoring is just one facet of his game.

“I still think I’m not the typical goalscorer,” he said. “I prefer to come from behind, to have more contact with the ball, create.

“I also like to get there in the box and score but I don’t live off [scoring] goals. I like to be in constant contact with the ball.

“I have learned to adjust myself in a game and find that moment. There are times when I don’t need to get involved and then I wait for that moment when I think that is the right time to give that physical wear.

“I have grown in terms of reading the game better. To know at what moment and where I can be more effective and crucial.”

Messi also said he would not trade all of his club achievements to have won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in that final and Messi declared he would not have changed his career to win that competition.

“I would have loved to have been world champion and it was one of my biggest dreams, but I would not change anything,” he added.

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“It’s what God gave me and it was for a reason. I cannot complain about what I have from a football and personal standpoint. It happened like that because God wanted it and that’s that.”

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