Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has admitted he ‘deeply regrets’ missing Barcelona’s celebratory night out after coming back from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris.
Messi, 18 years old at the time, missed out on the game due to a hamstring injury and was so upset to miss the final, he refused to attend celebrations.
The Argentine reflected on his decision, admitting he was "just thinking about not having played".
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Speaking to AS, he said: “I'm sorry I didn't [go out]. I didn't realise what was happening.
“At least I would have liked to be on the bench that night. Until my injury, [against Chelsea in the round of 16], I participated in every Champions League game 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.

Lionel Messi

Image credit: Eurosport

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to enjoy it.
Messi won his record-seventh Ballon d’Or this week, notching it ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea’s Jorginho for the prestigious award.
The PSG man has also admitted he “would like to go unnoticed and enjoy quality time with his family” without being constantly recognised by fans.
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 recognising 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.”
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