‘I would’ve loved to be a world champion… but I wouldn’t change my career to be one’: Lionel Messi admits he wouldn’t swap his trophies with Barcelona to win the World Cup
Lionel Messi’s glittering career has rightly earned the Barcelona star inclusion in the ‘Greatest of all Time’ conversation.
Four Champions League titles, six Copa del Rey triumphs and 10 La Liga titles have earned the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a place at the table in football’s most coveted debate – who is the greatest to have played the world’s most popular game?
And while Messi has scored goals at a rate that can only be rivaled by arch nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo, the Argentine’s displays with his country have left questions over whether the Barcelona man can truly be considered the game’s greatest player.
Lionel Messi has expressed his regrets over his international career with his native Argentina
The Barcelona star has won an array of trophies with his club as well as individual honours
Lionel Messi honours
10 x La Ligas
6 x Copa del Reys
8 x Spanish Super Cups
4 x Champions Leagues
3 x UEFA Super Cups
3 x FIFA Club World Cups
5 x Ballon d’Ors
6 x European Golden Shoe
8 x La Liga Player of the Year
Messi and his Portuguese counterpart Ronaldo remain neck and neck in terms of club and individual honours. However, the Juventus star has at least won silverware with his country – lifting the European Championships trophy in 2016 as well as the inaugural UEFA Nations League title last summer.
Messi has, meanwhile, been part of an Argentina side that have flattered to deceive during his career. The closest the South American country got to silverware was in the 2014 World Cup where they were defeated 1-0 by Germany in the final.
And the Argentine star has acknowledged that he may not ever taste glory with his country, but that he would not sacrifice any of his other achievements to lift silverware in blue and white.
He has won four Champions Leagues, 10 La Ligas and six Copa del Reys in an amazing career
Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, though, Messi has failed to enjoy success with his country
‘I would’ve loved to be a world champion,’ Messi told TyC Sports.
‘But I don’t think I would change anything else in my career to be one.
‘This is what I was given, what God gave me. It is what it is.
‘I couldn’t dream of everything that I experienced after. It was far bigger than anything I could’ve imagined.’
Messi had momentarily retired from international football in 2016, before returning to the international set up shortly afterwards.
Argentina had lost back-to-back Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016, twice losing to Chile on penalties.