Messi Admits That He Doesn’t Like Being Subbed Off

Barcelona's Lionel Messi in 2019. Photo by Bagu Blanco/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (10209048s)

Leo Messi opened up in an interview with Argentinian broadcaster TyC Sports, admitting that he is not a big fan of being taken off of the field in the middle of a game.

The superstar revealed in an interview, which was released on Monday, that “I don’t like to be replaced. I prefer to come from the bench and play less than to be taken out.”

It’s a curious statement from one of soccer’s all-time greats, who has only been substituted out of a game one time this season. In Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Villarreal in September, the forward was taken out of the game at halftime after playing only 45 minutes.

It seems like Messi was simply responding to a question that came up in the interview, and that he wasn’t making a pointed statement to Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

Messi’s reasoning for his preference, according to him, is that “A lot of games are resolved near the end of the game, or you find more spaces then because you have more rivals that are tired. I prefer to come in and enjoy it than to leave and miss out on the best.”

It’s undeniable that the Argentinian superstar lives for the big moments in tight situations at the end of games, so perhaps his preference should not surprise us that much.