When Lionel Messi Got Angry During A Barcelona Training Session In 2009

We often judge a player by goals, assist and clean sheets, but a cool temperament on the field is an understated quality.

In big games, some players can let frustrations get the better of them, but a select few can keep level-headed in a heated environment.

Former Barcelona forward Neymar was accused of letting his frustrations get the better of him when footage emerged of the Brazilian taking his anger out at teammate Nelson Semedo during a training session in Miami last year.

He was eventually restrained by Sergio Busquets, and the former Santos man walked off the pitch while kicking footballs and throwing his training bib in frustration.

Many labelled the 25-year-old as childish for his 'classless' actions.

On the other hand, one player who can channel his anger into world-beating performances is Barcelona teammate and five time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

In a fascinating extract from Rio Ferdinand's autobiography, former teammate Thierry Henry told a brilliant story about Messi when he got angry during a particular session.

Henry recalled a time when his teammate was fouled in training and didn't receive a free-kick from his coach:

"So when the ball went back to his goalkeeper, he (Messi) ran back and demanded the ball. The goalkeeper rolled him the ball, and Messi then proceeded to run through the entire team and score in anger."


Messi does magical things when he's angry, just ask Thierry Henry. Image: PA

Ferdinand then went into more detail about his conversation with Henry, mentioning the moment he knew 'Messi was different to anyone we've ever seen':

"Thierry said that was what he used to do in the playground at school. I did stuff like that too against little kids. But he (Messi) did it against some of the best in the world: Yaya Toure, Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets.

"And it wasn't just that one time. He did it a couple of times.

"Thierry said: 'Can Ronaldo do that?' I said, 'Well, I've never seen him do that.' Thierry played with Zidane and Ronaldinho but they never did anything like that. He said: 'That's when I knew Messi was different to anyone we've ever seen.'"


Lionel Messi, ladies and gentlemen.

Is he the greatest player of all time? Let us know in the comments.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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