Speaking to France Football after being awarded his seventh Ballon d’Or last week, Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi (34) recounted how he handled needing hormone treatment as a child, explaining he never considered his football career to be in doubt.
At the age of 10, you learned that you had a hormone deficiency. How do you take the news?
“I remember going for check-ups with my mum for an hour or two. When I learned I had this problem, I must say that it didn’t cause me any problems. I don’t know if it’s because I was still little and wasn’t aware of what it meant, because I didn’t really understand what was happening to me… Then, they explained to treatment, I had to give myself injections every day, one in the evening in one leg, the next day in the other. It never prevented me from doing anything, I was able to continue playing and continue my life as before.”
So the idea didn’t cross your mind that your football career might be in jeopardy?
“No, never. I was able to continue doing everything I was doing before, although of course I had to go through the treatment. It became something normal in my life. I would go to see friends and take the doses I needed with me. As they had to stay cold, I put them in the fridge when I arrived, and everyone knew that in the evening I had to take my injection. So it was not difficult for me. Once I started taking the treatment, it was seamlessly integrated into my routine.”