In an old interview, tennis legend Roger Federer heaped praise on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi, expressing his desire to see him win the World Cup one day. The interview with the Financial Times has resurfaced following Roger Federer’s retirement announcement on Thursday (September 15).
Having ruled tennis for 24 years and winning the admiration of peers and fans alike, Federer announced his retirement via a well-articulated social media post on Thursday. The Swiss legend won six Australian Open, one French Open, eight Wimbledon, and five US Open titles over the course of his 24-year legendary career. The 2022 Laver Cup, which is set to be held in London between September 23 and September 25, will be his final ATP event.
Federer, a well-documented football follower, has always had a soft corner for Lionel Messi. In the aftermath of his retirement, Federer’s old comments on the Argentine genius have resurfaced, just in time for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In an interview with the Financial Times, he said (via La Nacion):
“I love when I see him with the ball at his feet, he is the best ever. What I like most about Messi is that when he receives the ball and faces the goal he has a complete vision. He can pass it, dribble or shoot. There are always three options for him. He is one of the few who has that virtue. I love watching him play and I hope that one day he can win the World Cup with his Argentina team.”
Lionel Messi pens a heartfelt message for exemplary athlete Roger Federer
Following Roger Federer’s retirement announcement, Lionel Messi took to Instagram to share a heartwarming message for the 20-time Grand Slam winner. Calling him an example for all athletes, the 2021 Copa America winner hailed Roger Federer’s legendary career, stating that he’d miss seeing him in action.
Lionel Messi’s Instagram caption (translated to English) read:
“A genius, unique in the history of tennis and an example for any athlete. All the best in your new stage, we will miss seeing you on the court making us enjoy, @rogerfederer.”