3 Popular Spanish Phrases by Argentine Soccer Player Messi

picture of lionel messi next to blog post title that reads: 3 popular phrases by argentine soccer player messi.

Argentine soccer player Messi is not only renowned for his exceptional skills on the field but also for his humble words that reflect his values and philosophy. As a global icon, Messi’s statements resonate with fans and admirers around the world. 

Today marks the first anniversary of Argentina’s win in the 2022 Soccer World Cup. Therefore, to celebrate this win I want us to revisit three powerful quotes by Lionel Messi. In this blog post, we’ll delve into three popular Spanish phrases by Argentine soccer player Messi, offering insights into his mindset and outlook beyond the pitch. Additionally, we’ll be analyzing the grammar structures in every quote. 

Analyzing 3 Popular Quotes by Messi

1. “Me preocupa más ser buena persona que ser el mejor jugador del mundo.”

“I’m more concerned about being a good person than being the best player in the world.” This humble statement encapsulates Messi’s emphasis on personal character and integrity. Amidst his unparalleled success, he highlights the importance of values and humanity, inspiring us to prioritize goodness over greatness.

The sentence conveys the speaker’s concern or worry about being a good person (ser buena persona) more than being the best soccer player in the world (ser el mejor jugador del mundo). It uses a comparative structure (más…que) to express this priority.

More examples with comparative structures in Spanish below:

  • Me gusta más jugar al fútbol que al básquet. (I like playing soccer more than basketball.)
  • Me molestan más las cucarachas que los mosquitos. (I’m more bothered by cockroaches than mosquitoes.)
  • Esta tarta es más dulce que la otra. (This pie is sweeter than the other one.)

2. “Hay que luchar para concretar el sueño, hay que sacrificarse y trabajar duro por ello.”

“One must fight to achieve their dream, one must make sacrifices and work hard for it.” This phrase embodies Messi’s unwavering dedication to his craft. His journey from humble beginnings to international stardom underscores the essence of perseverance and hard work, inspiring aspiring athletes and dreamers alike.

The impersonal phrase “hay que” in Spanish is used to express an obligation, necessity, or something that needs to be done. It is often translated to English as “one must,” “it is necessary to,” “you should,” or “it’s important to.” “Hay que” is impersonal because it doesn’t specify a particular subject; instead, it refers to a general obligation or requirement.

Here are some more examples to illustrate its usage:

  • Hay que estudiar para tener éxito. (One must study in order to succeed.)
  • En invierno, hay que abrigarse bien. (In winter, it’s important to dress warmly.)
  • Hay que respetar las reglas del juego. (Everyone must respect the rules of the game.)

Click here to learn more about Hay and Estar.

3. “Mi intención es que, cuando me retire, se me recuerde por ser buen tipo.”

“My intention is that, when I retire, I am remembered for being a good guy.” Beyond his athletic achievements, Messi places importance on the legacy he leaves as a person. This sentiment reflects his desire to be remembered for his character, kindness, and positive influence on those around him.

In the sentence the verb tenses and mood play a crucial role in conveying the meaning and temporal relationships within the sentence. Let’s take a look at “me retire” and “me recuerde”: 

Use of the subjunctive: 

  • “me retire” is in the subjunctive mood, specifically the present subjunctive. It is used to express an action that has not yet occurred but is anticipated in the future. In this context, it refers to the speaker’s retirement (retirarse), which is something they plan to do in the future.
  • “se me recuerde” – This is in the subjunctive mood, specifically the present subjunctive. The reflexive construction “se me recuerde” (recordar) is used to express a desire or intention. It means “to be remembered by others” in the sense of “in the future, I want to be remembered for…” The use of the subjunctive mood here indicates that the speaker’s desire is not a certainty but a wish or intention.

Embracing Messi’s Philosophy

These phrases by Argentine soccer player Messi provide a glimpse into his mindset and values. While his on-field prowess is undeniable, his off-field humility resonates with individuals from all walks of life. Messi’s words remind us that success goes beyond trophies and records – it’s about the impact we have on others and the world.

For more on how Argentina’s love for Messi is shaping the language, check out the blog post How the Passion for Messi in Argentina is Changing Argentine Spanish Significantly

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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