Lionel Messi has done it again. After Pedro had sent the final of the UAE 2009 into extra time with an 89th-minute equaliser, the Argentinian maestro appeared in the right place at the right time once more to deny compatriots Estudiantes and secure his side’s sixth trophy of a miraculous year.
Just minutes after chesting in the goal that gave Barça their first FIFA Club World Cup crown, the magical Messi spoke exclusively to FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: Lionel, how do you feel right now?
Lionel Messi: I’m extremely happy. We’ve just ended a historic year, a perfect year in which we’ve won every competition we’ve played in. We just needed to take this last step and everything has worked out how we wanted. It’s amazing. It’s difficult to put into words.
What does it mean to have won the FIFA Club World Cup at last?
It’s very important to us. It was unfinished business for Barcelona and we put it right today. The fact we had to work hard to win it too makes it even more special.
We are happy at having made history but make no mistake, we’ll be out to win everything again next year.
And how do you feel about winning the adidas Golden Ball?
It’s nice to get that recognition of course, but it’s something I want to share with my team-mates. I couldn’t have won an award like this without them.
What was the key to you turning the game around?
Having faith in ourselves. We knew we had to keep playing our own game, keep playing the way we always do, without changing, even though time was running out for us. It’s worked out for us quite a few times for us this year and fortunately it worked out again.
What kind of a game was it to play in?
Very tough. I couldn’t get into the game or find my place. We all had that problem, though, and that’s because we were playing a great side who were extremely well organised, who knew what they were doing, and who almost stuck it out to the final whistle. Unfortunately for them though, we got the goal right at the end.
Do you think Barcelona were worthy winners?
Well, our goal came late on but I think we played a lot of good football and had chances to score earlier. I know we were only two minutes away from losing but I think the result was the right one.
How does it feel to score yet another decisive goal?
If Pedro hadn’t scored, then I wouldn’t have had the chance to score mine. I’m delighted at getting the winner but I’m even happier at winning the cup with this group of players.
Can you just talk us through the goal?
I know Dani and I knew where he was going to put the cross as he saw me get in there, just as he usually does. The ball came in and I didn't know whether to head or chest it in. I think it might even have come off the badge.
Finally, is this Barcelona side the greatest team of all time?
If you’re talking about all the trophies, then there’s no other side that has achieved what we have this year. It’s not easy to answer that right now though. We are happy at having made history but make no mistake, we’ll be out to win everything again next year.