Image Source: Frank Fife/AFP via Getty Images
Lionel Messi, one of the best football players in history and a global icon for Argentina’s National Team, shared his own experiences battling Covid-19. He was infected with this virus in early January and bravely fought back to make it through.
When he got the virus, the 34-year-old sports star said that he felt initial symptoms come like sore throat, fever, and coughing. But after they improved a bit more, he still came out with several respiratory issues, which made him wonder.
“It left me with after effects. It left me with after-effects in my lungs. I came back, and it was like a month and a half without even being able to run because my lungs were affected,” Messi said in an interview.
The Argentine forward had to miss three matches after he got sick. One French Cup game and two Ligue 1 games were lost because of the unfortunate encounter with the virus.
Messi’s return to the pitch was a difficult one. He had missed out on games, and his body did not want him back, but as soon as he forced himself into getting better, it only made things worse.
“I came back before I should have, and it got worse because I went too fast, and it ended up setting me back. But I couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted to run, to train — I wanted to get going. And in the end, it got worse,” Messi said.
The feeling of defeat is universal, but the grief that Messi and his team felt after an upset loss against Real Madrid in the Championship League was particularly hard to bear.
“When I was halfway there [towards being at my peak], the Real Madrid thing happened, and that killed us. It killed me and the whole locker room in general and all of Paris because we had this big dream in that competition,” Messi told interviewers.
“And the way it happened, the game, the result … it was a gut punch,” he added.
After careful and extensive medications, the football icon is now back on track and aims big for his next competition. Now, he is set to play with his national team against Italy in Finalissima.
Finalissima is a new football tournament in the industry – in its first season still. It was started by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) to create an arena for the winners of Copa America and Euro 2020.
The matches will start on June 1.