Training With Lionel Messi Makes You Feel 'Inadequate' About Your Abilities

Does training every day with the great Lionel Messi help to improve goalkeepers? Former Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen isn't so sure.

The 30-year-old, who recently left Barca to join fellow La Liga side Valencia, has opened up about his three year spell at the Catalan giants.

Cillessen revealed in an interview with Spanish publication Diario AS that he "misses nothing" about his former club.

"I was not playing there, and I had no choice but to leave, as I want to play." he said. "I need to be playing matches, and not just training. Ter Stegen is a great goal keeper, and he keeps improving."

The goalkeeper made just a handful of first team appearances for Barca, playing second fiddle to arguably one of world's best, Marc-André ter Stegen.

But one thing he did learn from training sessions was the immense quality of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

When asked if training with the 32-year-old helped him improve, Cillessen doesn't exactly sound convinced.

<span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0" ">"Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much." he said. "Messi is Messi<span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0" ">. He can turn you into a better 'keeper but at the same time, can make you feel a little inadequate about your abilities."

One thing is for sure, Messi is just as phenomenal on the training ground as he is on the game day.

Just ask former teammate Thierry Henry, who described what the Barcelona forward is like in training when he's upset.

"I have seen him doing stuff in training and it is just amazing. When he gets upset, he runs around the whole team. There is nothing you can do." Henry said in an interview with Sky Sports.

"When you have Leo Messi it is a big advantage. When you have that man in your side, anything can happen."

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

Henry then 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."

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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