Barcelona, Jan 20 (IANS) Barcelona striker Leo Messi insists the birth of his son, Thiago, at the end of 2012 was the most important event in his life, way above any goal he has ever scored or the fourth Balon d'Or award he received at the start of 2013.
Speaking to the Catalan newspaper 'El Periodico' , Messi discussed several topics, such as his role on the pitch, his hopes with the Argentina national team and, of course, his son.
"He has changed my life and he is the most important thing," said Messi.
"In the past, I would get home and continue as if I was still outside and if things were not going well, I would shut myself away. Now I get home, see my son and I get over everything. Thiago has changed me more than all my Balon d'Or," he said.
Messi said he himself was his toughest critic. "I know when things are going well and when I do badly. I don' t need anyone to tell me, I am my number one critic."
The striker also discussed Spain's referees. "At the slightest question and without saying a word, they show you a yellow card," he said.
He also compared coach Tito Vilanova with his predecessor, Pep Guardiola, who has just been announced as the new coach of Bayern Munich.
"Everything is the same here. The style is the same, the philosophy as well, as are the training sessions and the way we prepare matches. We do the same things we did in recent years. What changes from one year to another is that each has his own style and way of speaking and communicating what they think," said Messi.
He said it helped that most of the players all had a good relation with each other, adding his intention was to stay at Barcelona and extend his contract, before discussing his hopes for his national team, Argentina.
"After winning all you can win with Barca, I want to win the World Cup. I have suffered with the national team, but not just me. We have all suffered and we have been criticized," said Messi, who admitted he was happy to be the captain of his country.
"I never thought it would end up like that," he said before concluding by saying his ambition was to end his career playing club football in his homeland.
"You never know what could happen, but that is one of my dreams," admitted Messi.
Updated Date: Jan 20, 2013 21:30 PM