Nelson Semedo, the former Barcelona teammate of Lionel Messi, once shared a surprising training secret about the World Cup winner.
An old interview of Semedo has recently gained interest from the fans after witnessing the Inter Miami star’s recent impressive form. In the interview with The Telegraph, the Portuguese revealed that Lionel Messi never practiced his free-kicks in the training ground.
He shared, “You know what makes him even more amazing? I never once saw him take a free-kick in training, in all of the time I was there. I swear he never did!”
🗣️ Semedo: “During my time in Barcelona, I have never seen Messi practice free kicks, not even once, I swear he didn’t.” pic.twitter.com/LcvRxqY0l9
— Barça Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) August 12, 2023
“We always used to practice shooting from distance but Messi never took a free-kick. For him, it was just natural. They say practice makes perfect – with him it was no practice and it was still perfect!”
This detail shared by Messi‘s former teammate, is the true testimony of his talents. The former PSG player has made headlines with his brilliant form since joining his new club Inter Miami. Messi has found the back of the net twice from a free kick in his impressive eight goals in five matches stat.
The reason why Lionel Messi refused free-kicks in his early Barcelona days
Lionel Messi has scored more than 60 free-kicks in his entire career and is the go-to free-kick taker at his club. However, this was not the case when he started his soccer journey in Barcelona. The 36-year-old was not the Catalan club’s go-to free-kick during his early days.
Juan Carlos Unzue, who was the assistant coach at the Catalan club when Messi first broke into the first team shared the reason behind it. The Spanish coach revealed, “When Messi came into the first team, there were players like Ronaldinho, Deco, and Rafa Marquez, who were excellent free-kick takers and stayed after training to practice.
“But Messi would sit on a ball, just watching them practice. So, I asked Messi, ‘Why don’t you practice? I’ve seen you score free-kick goals at La Masia.”
Juan Carlos Unzué: “When Messi came into the first team, there were players like Ronaldinho, Deco and Rafa Márquez, who were excellent free-kick takers and stayed after training to practice. But Messi would sit on a ball, just watching them practise…” pic.twitter.com/u1y2Z3zFLU
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 24, 2023
Unzue continued, “Messi replied, ‘This is not my moment, this is Ronaldinho’s, Deco’s, and Marquez’s moment’ […] At 16, Messi respected the hierarchies.”
The former Barcelona player refused to take the free kicks out of respect for his senior players. And when the time came, he made the most of the opportunity that was given to him.
The Argentine international became one of the best players in the world during his time at Camp Nou. However, he had to leave his beloved club in 2021 due to the club’s financial difficulties.