It is not very often you get to read or listen to Leo Messi talking about his feelings and his private life. However, he has broken that norm in an interview with the English magazine 'FourFourTwo'.
He explains that the birth of his first child (he is expecting his second at the moment) "has changed his life massively." He adds that "Thiago is the most important thing in my life. He's the best present anyone could wish for." Right now, Messi is enjoying the phase where Thiago is beginning to talk and communicate better: "Antonella has told me that he recognises me when I'm on the TV, though, which is nice."
Barça's No.10 continues by explaining that when he drives he does so "as calmly as possible" and that he always takes the same route to training from his house. "It's nice to have that time to relax, alone with my thoughts." From there, he says that "everyone arrives at training an hour before and I usually take a mate [an Argentine drink] with some of my teammates, or I'll go for a wander around the training ground."
Outside of football, what Messi most likes doing is "spending time with my family and the people closest to me. I don't play other sports but I watch them on TV. Sometimes I play FIFA on the Playstation against my Barcelona or Argentina teammates. I wouldn't say I'm the king, though -- there are a few who are pretty good."
He adds that he doesn't have a set time when he goes to sleep, but he finds it easier to nod off with "the sound of the TV on in the background."
Messi is really happy in Barcelona and recognises that the people in the city are "very respectful. They ask for photos and autographas, of course, but I still live normally." He also says "there isn't too much press intrusion into my private life."
In regards to his preparation for a match and dealign with the pressure, Leo says that he "starts preparing for a game the day after the previous match finishes. I'm not the sort of guy that goes around shouting and screaming in the dressing room before a game, either. I prefer to stay calm, be with my own thoughts. I like to imagine what might happen [in a game].
"Some people say my style of play is innate, but I'm not sure if that is me or not. Honestly, I do play on instinct. I'm always looking for the best move or decision at any given time."
For him, pressure doesn't exist: "When I feel the grass beneath my geet I feel sure. I try to use the pressure to help me in every game. Pressure helps me do things to the best of my ability. I like it. I don't feel any pressure -- quite the contrary, because I always enjoy what I am doing, and that is playing football."
Finally, he explains that the next Clasico, on March 22, will be "a special game. As a player, though, you have to treat it like any other game."