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Lionel Messi Was So Starstruck With Thierry Henry He Couldn't Look Him In The Face

Lionel Messi Was So Starstruck With Thierry Henry He Couldn't Look Him In The Face

There a host of stories about people being in awe of Lionel Messi but the Argentine himself has only been starstruck once.

Messi has won six Ballon d'Ors, four Champions Leagues and 10 La Liga titles but he was overwhelmed when a new name arrived in the Barcelona dressing room.

It was the only and only Thierry Henry, who joined the Blaugrana in a £16.1 million move from Arsenal in 2007.

Messi had only recently turned 20 when Henry turned up at the Nou Camp and recalled the nerves he felt as the Frenchman rocked up.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

"The first day he entered the dressing room, I did not dare to look him in the face," Messi told L'Equipe via Marca.

"I knew everything he had done in England. I had an image of him made and Suddenly we were on the same team. What I feel for Titi may be a form of admiration.

"I loved Henry. The ease of finishing an action, how he takes the road to the goal and ends the play. He gives the impression that it is natural. His career, his dribbling, the last gesture. It is fluid, proportionate."

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Image: PA
Image: PA

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Messi and Henry would form a special understanding on the pitch, winning the treble in the stunning 2008/09 season under Pep Guardiola.

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Henry was at Barcelona for three seasons and got to see Messi's progression into a world-beater.

Seeing him produce magic on a weekly basis, there was one instance where Messi scored a goal that made Henry think: "That's not normal."

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Speaking in 2018's Take The Ball, Pass The Ball, the Montreal Impact boss recalled Messi's wonder goal against Malaga.

"The best goal I've seen him score was against Malaga at home because that defied logic what he did," Henry said.

"Diagonal ball, he controls it on his chest, runs full speed. First player goes, second player is just behind. He takes another step, that player can clear the ball.

"If he's got the ball on his left foot here, how do you go back with that same leg and touch the ball in the air, in between the two to make sure that guy doesn't touch it -- and then almost fail but smash it into the top corner. That's not normal."

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Topics: Football News, FC Barcelona, Football, Lionel Messi, Barcelona news

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.