‘Lionel Messi Practically Did Not Speak, But Now He Has Become a Leader’ – Roberto Ayala

'Lionel Messi Practically Did Not Speak, But Now He Has Become a Leader' - Roberto Ayala
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​Argentina’s assistant manager and former AC Milan star, Roberto Ayala has opened up on the development of the country’s talisman, Lionel Messi, revealing that the striker has grown both as a captain and as a person.

The 47-year-old who played alongside Messi for Argentina claims that the striker used to be very quiet and not open up, but now leads by example both on and off the pitch.

“Messi likes to be treated like anyone else. He’s a very closed person who has grown a lot in the last few years. Today, he’s a leader on and off the pitch. When he first started, we were teammates – he practically didn’t speak. What’s more, he would go out and train because he had to,” he said as quoted by ​Barca Blaugranes.

“If not, he would have stayed in his room. Today, he participates in everything: he talks with his teammates, he asks them how they are. Even before matches, he talks a lot.”

Messi has become one of the most vocal players in the ​Barcelona squad as seen by his response to criticism from sporting director, Eric Abidal, while also being a main player in ensuring that the entire squad took a staggering 70 percent pay cut to help pay for the non-playing staff.

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