Former Argentina U20 coach and former Lionel Messi youth coach Hugo Tocalli has spoken out about Messi’s greatness.
Hugo Tocalli was one of the young Argentine teams to win a few U20 World Cups. Tocalli is still Argentina’s last player to coach Argentina and win the U20 World Cup in 2007 in Canada.
Tocalli also coached Lionel Messi at the youth level. He gave Lionel Messi his first Argentine game in 2004 with the U20 team. Speaking to Supper Deportivo Radio, Tocalli said:
“This version of Lionel Messi is different. This Lionel Messi is not like the others. The Lionel Messi I see now is the Messi I knew as a player.
“When you see this Lionel Messi smiling all day and enjoying being in the national team, that makes me very happy. Because it reminds me that I met Messi in the youth category. I am pleased with his attitude of asking for the ball and helping his teammates. He gets along with everyone, I enjoy that but I am not surprised.
“We are talking about the best player in the world. Now I look at the national team and enjoy it. I used to suffer when I watched the national team because I saw him suffer. And look, I haven’t talked to him in a long time because I’m trying not to bother him.
“It is very difficult for me to cry but yesterday (Sunday) for example, I was moved because he scored the second goal and then the third, fourth and fifth.
“He hit five if he could have done six or seven he would have done it. That makes you feel, in the name of being in the world and still continuing to hunger for glory, it makes me happy and gives me great satisfaction:
He also spoke about him and Jose Pekerman selecting Lionel Messi for the Argentina national team:
“Fortunately we brought this kid because if he was going to play in Spain, I would have to move from Argentina to another place because with Jose (Pekerman), we wouldn’t have apologized for that.”