Fans stunned after hearing Lionel Messi speak English 'for the first time'
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Fans were stunned after hearing Lionel Messi speak English publicly for what seemed like the first time.
Born in Rosario, Argentina, Messi's first language is Spanish, while he learned to speak Catalan during his two decades in Barcelona.
It has always been thought that the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has tormented many teams on English shores in the Champions League, could not speak English.
The Inter Miami star has never given an interview in English. Instead, he is translated and subtitled.
However, in a viral clip of Messi and former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Marco Verratti being shown tricks by magician Julius Dean, the Argentine spoke a sentence of English.
Dean has performed magic for celebrities like Drake, Post Malone, Novak Djokovic and Tony Hawk. At the event in January, he attempted to blow the mind of Messi, a magician in his own right.
As seen in the below clip, Messi and Verratti had their hands on top of one another as the 27-year-old Londoner tried to explain the trick.
Having initially counted down in Spanish, going "tres, dos, uno" Dean then turned to the camera and said, "I've got to practice my Spanish”.
Messi then appeared to chime in to say, "Very nice of you!" which prompted a huge cackle from Verratti.
While it was merely four words of English it sent social media into complete and utter overdrive.
One fan wrote on X, formerly Twitter: "The best English speaker of all-time."
Another said: "He finished football and now he is the best speaker of all time goat things."
A third added: "As a Messi fan, to hear him say that, it's like him winning a Ballon d'Or."
A fourth stated: "Just realised I've never heard him speak English."
2021, Messi admitted he had been learning English during the period in which he was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City.
At his PSG unveiling, he told Guillem Balague: “I’ve been learning English for a year and a half. But when you’re there in England, you get to learn it through necessity... Yeah, exactly. I understand it but I don’t speak it.”
Of course, at Inter Miami the World Cup winner will be practicing his English far more frequently.