Tactical Insights

What is this guy doing there?

Yaya Toure has revealed that Lionel Messi used to get an exemption from training post-match at Barcelona. He added that the Argentine used to get massages instead, as the team needed him fresh for the next match.

Speaking to GOAL, Toure stated that the decision left Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry and himself puzzled. The legendary trio were made to train after the matches, while the Argentine youngster was getting massages. He said:

“Actually, in my first year at Barcelona, Messi was a bit like that. We’d finish a game, we’d train. He’s resting [having] massage. I was like ‘What’ and I said to Samuel [Eto’o] ‘What is this guy doing there?’ Even Thierry [Henry] comes and goes ‘How is he doing that?’ But actually, it was Messi. We wanted to keep him fresh and ready for the next game because he was getting a lot of injuries as well. Because when he plays, he has a lot of kicks. People were jumping on him, just kicking him. Just stop him!”

Yaya Toure played 92 matches with Lionel Messi at Barcelona before leaving for Manchester City. He assisted the Argentine four times during his time with the Catalan side, and they lost only seven of the matches they played together.

Yaya Toure on Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona

Yaya Toure penned an emotional message for Lionel Messi after the Argentine left Barcelona in 2021. He thanked him for all the happiness he brought to the fans of the Catalan side and wrote on Instagram:

“It is very emotional to see you say goodbye to your dream club FC Barcelona. It was my dream as a young child to play for Barca and to be able to play with you has made it so much more special. What a special player you are, no other player has given so much joy, so many unforgettable moments and so much success to one club. Thank you my friend for bringing us so much happiness. I am sure you will bring your magic to anywhere you go! Leo Messi.”

Lionel Messi has repeatedly stated that he was not interested in leaving Barcelona but was forced to switch to PSG as the Catalan side could not renew his deal.

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