Buenos Aires: Lionel Messi “knows everything about everything” says his Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza.
Bauza took over as coach of Argentina in August and flew to Barcelona to persuade Messi to come out of his brief retirement with the national team, which came after they lost three finals of major tournaments in successive years.
Messi was restored to the starting XI for the World Cup qualifier at home to Uruguay at the start of September and he duly scored the winning goal, though he has not played for his country since that game due to injury.
“First we asked him if he would receive us,” Bauza told sport-english.com on Saturday about his meeting with Messi.
“When he accepted, I knew that there would be no problem with him because it was going to be a chat about football.
“I didn’t go to convince Messi, I was convinced that in the chat a possibility would arise. He received me with Javier Mascherano at the Ciutat Esportiva (FC Barcelona’s training ground) and after the chat there was nothing more to say other than ‘Boys, you’re called up for the next game.’
“What surprised me is how much he knows about football, because he knows everything, about his teammates, the technical team, about football. He’s aware of everything.
“I always thought a player of his standing would have to be a player who knew a lot about football. But he surprised me even more than I thought.
“Leo knows everything about everything. Nothing escapes him. He has a very important understanding and this helps when one has to communicate their idea.”
Barcelona hope Messi will be back from injury next weekend after he suffered a groin injury against Atletico Madrid.