Let’s take a look at some of Lionel Messi favourite team mates. Although Messi has always been the best wherever he goes, he has also been privileged to play with some really talented players. And of course, among these players, he sure has his favorites.
Lionel Messi favourite team mates
Today we’d be looking at some teammates Messi declared as his favorites.
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Let’s start with none other than Ronaldinho. You see, by the time the young Messi was just breaking into the Barcelona team, Ronaldinho was already one of the best players in the world at the time. When he saw Messi, he instantly knew he would become one of the best in the world. So, he decided to play a godfather role for Messi, helping him become better in his early years. Although the two didn’t play together for many years, you could tell that Ronaldinho liked Messi a lot. As a matter of fact, after he retired, he wrote a piece to his younger self.
And when it got to where he talked about Messi, he wrote this quote,
“At Barcelona, you’ll hear about this kid on the youth team. He wears the number 10, like you. He’s small, like you. He plays with the ball like you. You and your teammates will go watch him play for Barcelona’s youth squad, and at that moment, you’ll know he’s going to be more than a great footballer. That kid is different. His name is Leo Messi.”
Just like Ronaldinho, Portuguese legend Deco also didn’t play with Messi for many years. Yet, he sure left a lasting impression on young Messi. In fact, Messi disclosed that the only reason he chose the number 30 jersey is because Deco wore 20 and Ronaldinho wore 10.
3. Samuel Eto
SamuelEto’o was another big-name player who also played with Messi. In their time together, they helped Barcelona win the Champions League in 2006 and then the treble in 2009. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do more together after that season, as Eto’o left the club to join Inter Milan. But in the time that they spent together, you just knew they had built a great relationship. And when Eto’o retired, Messi posted a message to him which translates to this, “you decided to stop already, Samu? I thought that you would stay till 40 at least. All the luck of the world in what you want to do from now, genius.”
4. David Villa
Now, not too long after the departure of Eto’o, David Villa came to fill the role in that center-forward position and one of the most dynamic frontlines was forged. Do you remember what they both did in the 2011 final against Manchester United?
Messi unleashed a fiery shot after a mazy run to reclaim the lead and seemingly doom United to another 2nd place finish. Only that, Villa had even more magic up his sleeve.
That curler was something out of the PlayStation, seriously.
5. Xavi Hernandez
When it comes to the middle of the pitch, Messi’s picks were more than obvious. First was Xavi Hernandez. This midfield general was the chief orchestrator in the Barca midfield during those golden years. He was part of that famous midfield trio that helped Barca and Messi dominate club football for many years. And in that time, he formed an amazing partnership with his midfield partners and Messi, both on the field and off it. And despite the fact that they’ve not played together for years, Xavi sure wouldn’t mind having him around again. And when Xavi was asked about a potential Barcelona return for Messi, he said
“It will depend on him, on what he wants to do in the future. This is his home, there is no doubt. The best footballer in history would always fit in.”
6. Andres Iniesta
Iniesta was a major creative force in that team. And well, even Messi would agree that many of the goals he scored and records he broke wouldn’t have been possible without Iniesta pulling the strings. In a book, Messi explained his close relationship with Iniesta with this quote
“We’re more similar in the fact that we don’t talk much. He sits in one corner, I sit in another. But we cross paths, we connect; with just a look we understand each other.”
7. Sergio Busquets
We’ve mentioned Xavi and Iniesta. So you probably know who’s coming next already. Of course, it’s Sergio Busquets. A lot is often said about Xavi and Iniesta, but not much is said about the role of Busquets in midfield. You see, Busquets could be described as a revolutionary defensive midfielder. Because, unlike the typical defensive midfielder, he possesses loads of technical ability. This made him able to fit perfectly into that Barcelona setup and form an excellent connection with the other midfielders behind Messi for many years.
And although he and Messi parted ways when Messi left Barcelona, the two have now reunited at Inter Miami in the USA and have taken the MLS by storm.
8. Neymar Junior
There’s no need for a long talk here, really. Neymar could easily be described as the 3rd best player of the last decade after Messi and Ronaldo. And while he was teammates with Messi, they formed that deadly strike partnership with Suarez that blew everybody away especially in 2015 when they won the treble. And well, at that time, it looked like more than just a strike partnership, but like a brotherhood. Sadly, he had to leave Barcelona when PSG came calling, and Messi was not pleased with that. But fortunately, they were reunited at PSG a few years later.
9. Luis Suarez
Messi also loved Luis Suarez a lot. As a matter of fact, Messi, Neymar and Suarez were more like brothers when they were at Barcelona. You could literally see it in the way they play, how they celebrate goals, and even off the field. They just loved being around each other. Unfortunately, they had to be separated in 2020, which made Messi quite upset that he had to post a message to Suarez which read
“You did not deserve for them to throw you out like they did. But the truth is that at this stage nothing surprises me anymore.”
But just like Neymar, Suarez could still get a chance to be reunited with Messi, as there have been rumors that he might be joining Inter Miami in the near future. Guess we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for that one.
10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
One player who’s never going to be reunited with Messi as a footballer is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s because he is retired. But during his time at Barcelona, he played with Messi as they won both La Liga. And while we all remember his outrage over losing the number 9 position to Messi, the two had mutual respect, and Zlatan saw enough to make him believe Messi is the best in the world, with him declaring later on that “Messi does not need his right foot, he only uses the left and he is still the best in the world.” It’s still quite surprising that Messi picked him as one of his favorite teammates.
Now, you’re probably wondering where Mbappe stands in all of this. But that’s up to you to decide. Do you think Messi loved playing with Mbappe, or do you believe the rumors that Mbappe didn’t like his presence at PSG? Also, are there other players you think Messi loved playing with?
Do tell us what you think in the comments section.