Does Lionel Messi speak English?

Lionel Messi Barcelona 2020
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Ever wondered if the GOAT speaks English? Here's what you need to know

Lionel Messi is capable of doing the impossible on the pitch, and has been lauded as one of the greatest footballers of all-time.

He has carved out a legacy as Barcelona's talismanic striker, synonymous with the club and the city.

But does the Argentina international speak English? Goal takes a look.

Does Messi speak English?

Having spent his entire life living in Spanish-speaking countries Argentina and Spain, it is safe to assume that Messi does not speak English.

The Barcelona striker might be able to understand a few English phrases, but Messi is known to be fluent in only Spanish and Catalan.

Non-English footballers usually learn the language after playing at a club where English is the dominant language. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, became fluent in English playing for Manchester United before he left for Real Madrid and still has a strong grasp of the language.

Ronaldo even joked about acting as translator for both Messi and Neymar, neither of whom speak English, at the 2016 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

All three superstars were up for the individual award for the year 2015, with Messi eventually claiming his fifth award.

Ronaldo, who was playing for Real Madrid at the time, finished in second place, with Neymar in third.

"We got closer, but we have always had a good relationship," Ronaldo joked when asked about his experience at the gala with Messi.

"Before the gala, on the stage, I was a translator for Neymar and him [Messi]. I told them they would have to pay me."

While Messi himself may not speak English, his partner Antontella speaks the language fluently.

In 2019, 11-year-old Mackenzie O’Neill encountered the surprise of his life when he and his family bumped into Messi, who was vacationing in Antigua with his own children.

Messi invited the youngster to play football with him and his son, Thiago.

“Messi’s wife [Antonella] translated because she speaks English very well," Mackenzie said.

"Later on I ended up swimming with Messi and we went out on a little boat and spent a lot of time in the water.

"Messi was with his family on the beach. I was on my own and began to kick my ball a few feet from where they were.

“His dad Jorge threw a ball to me and asked if I wanted to play with them and then we played football with Thiago and Messi for 45 minutes.

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“Playing with Leo in the water was great fun. He acted like a normal dad. I also realised that Messi really enjoyed seeing his son play with other children.”

He added: “The last night Messi and his family were here I was playing with Thiago and gave him my football to keep.

“But he ran after me along the beach and insisted I keep it. Afterwards Messi and his wife said goodbye to me with huge smiles. I am not going to forget them.”

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