Exclusive: Messi's confession about the tax office's persecution

Barça star Leo Messi says it was an "ordered" attack from Madrid

Leo Messi habló de sus problemas con Hacienda
Leo Messi habló de sus problemas con Hacienda | Valentí Enrich

Goals, victories and titles can be shared with moments of sadness and disappointment. That's the life of footballers, who are not apart from destiny. Despite being the best, most admired player in the world, Lionel Messi is not an exception. As he admits himself in this interview with SPORT:  

Ernest Folch

@ErnestFolch

Albert Masnou

@albert_masnou

You've cried for Argentina... and for Barcelona?

Yes, there have been tears with this club. There have been a lot of years, a lot of moments. I remember the Champions League semifinal against Inter, the other semi against Chelsea, when I missed a penalty. We let slip a chance to reach the final in those years and to win another Champions League. We deserved to win another Champions League. 

Iniesta's spoken about depression, have you experienced anything similar?

I've not suffered from depression, as Andres has said [about himself]. But I have been through some sad moments, like when you don't achieve the objectives you've set out. Like in any job, when things don't work out, you suffer. 

And you're not an exception...

I have been through some tough times, like everything with the tax office. It was hard because of the way they attacked me and said things about me, my family, my dad, my people. I felt attacked from Madrid and it was hard. I felt really attacked but I was lucky enough to have the backing of those close to me, of Barcelona, of Catalonia, of journalism (in Catalonia). That kept me a little more calm. 

Why do you think it happened? 

It was the order to attack me, to hit me and to take advantage of the moment of weakness we were in because of everything that was happening. It was an order from Madrid. That's how it was. I knew it. But even knowing it, it annoyed me and hurt me. 

Did you plan to leave Barcelona at that time? 

No. It was a difficult year because there was an injury, too. It was also the year of the World Cup in Brazil. It was a complicated process because they said a lot of things which were out of place. 

After that we saw a different Messi -- did you reinvent yourself after the World Cup? 

No, no, no. It doesn't have anything to with all that. I always had the support of my family, my wife, my kids... I always isolated myself from that to enjoy them. Reinventing myself on the pitch happened on its own, de to circumstance and moments during games. Depending on the game, I've felt more comfortable playing further back, starting further back without losing the ability to get into the opposition's box because that's whay I liked. It's something which happened on its own. 

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