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What happened when Lionel Messi got angry during a Barcelona training session in 2009

Jack Kenmare

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What happened 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. On the other hand, a select few can keep level-headed in the most heated of environments. Take Lionel Messi, for example.

The Argentine has been known to channel his anger into world-beating performances, especially during his time at Barcelona.

In fact, former Barca teammate Thierry Henry once told a brilliant story about the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, when he got angry during a training session under Pep Guardiola.

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Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

In a fascinating extract from Rio Ferdinand's autobiography, Henry recalled 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 former Arsenal striker said. "The goalkeeper rolled him the ball, and Messi then proceeded to run through the entire team and score in anger."

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'.

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"Thierry said that was what he used to do in the playground at school," Ferdinand added. "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."

Ferdinand added: "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'."

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Back in April, Henry urged Messi to re-join Barcelona "for the love of football" after he was booed by Paris Saint-Germain fans ahead of their Ligue 1 clash against Lyon.

With rumours surrounding his future continuing to swirl, some fans inside the Parc des Princes decided to jeer Messi when the stadium announcer read out his name ahead of kick-off.

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Henry reacted to the scenes while on punditry duty for Amazon Prime Video.

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“You can’t whistle one of the best players on the team, who has 13 goals and 13 assists this season," he said. "Personally, I would like to see him finish his career at Barcelona, in Europe. After that, I don’t know what he will do. Because the way he left Barcelona after everything he did… I didn’t really like it.

"For the love of football, he should go back to Barcelona."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, La Liga, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Rio Ferdinand

Jack Kenmare
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