Messi 'regrets' his 2006 UCL strop and admits he 'would like to go unnoticed'

  /  autty

Lionel Messi 'deeply regrets' his decision to forego Barcelona's celebratory night out following their Champions League triumph over Arsenal in 2006.

The Argentine striker missed the 2006 Champions League final due to a hamstring injury and was so upset he opted out the celebration after their 2-1 victory.

Messi was just 18-year-old old at the time and was still trying to make a name for himself in Frank Rijkaard’s side.

Messi - who had scored just nine goals for Barcelona at the time of the incident - reflected on his decision.

Speaking to AS, he said: 'I'm sorry I didn't [go out]. I didn't realise what was happening. At that moment I was thinking about not having played.

'At least I would have liked to be on the bench that night. Until my injury (tear against Chelsea in the round of 16), I participated in every Champions League in my career.

'I was disappointed. I deeply regret that episode. We won that Champions League and I was not sure what would happen again because it is a difficult competition to win Then, fortunately, I had the opportunity to enjoy it. '

Messi has also said he 'would like to go unnoticed' and 'enjoy' quality time with his family without being constantly recognised by fans.

The Argentine - who just won the Ballon d'Or for a record seventh time after finishing ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho - says he does not like to 'complain' but admits '34 years' of fame is draining.

Nevertheless, the Paris Saint-Germain forward says 'it is always nice to receive a compliment' from his devoted fan base.

Messi said: 'I have been Messi for 34 years, so I am starting to get used to it. I am happy with everything that has happened.

'Although sometimes I have to admit that I would like to go unnoticed, enjoy my family without people recognise me.

'I do not complain, on the contrary, it is always nice to receive a compliment, a smile or someone who asks me for a photo.

'I am used to it and for me it has become normal. So very good.'

Related: Paris Saint-Germain Barcelona Messi
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