During an interview with Marca, Gabriel Milito talks in detail about Lionel Messi’s evolution as a leader for the Argentina National Team.

Lionel Messi surprised the whole world with the evolution of his leadership for the Argentina National Team, his friend Gabriel Milito was also pleasantly surprised.

The former Argentine player shared the spotlight with Leo both at FC Barcelona and the National Team.

Gabi was actually one of the compatriots that took care of Messi when he was barely starting his career.

The two of them keep a close relationship and they greet each other with affection when they meet.

Milito was looking at Argentina very closely during this Copa America, he was very eager to see how much Leo has changed.

Now that the tournament is finished, Gabi is on the side of giving Messi props for finally becoming the leader that his country needed.

However, the former player also acknowledges that this player has always been a leader in regards to football on the pitch.

The more vocal leaders from this national team were long gone after Mascherano left, Messi appeared at the right time.

Although Milito didn’t want to take any sides on the accusations made by the captain, he did acknowledge the level of involvement he had when there was an unfair treatment against Argentina.

“As time goes by, we all modify our behavior as we grow,” said Milito to Marca.

“We don’t make any abrupt changes, but we can slowly improve in different aspects. I think Leo is a lot more mature than he was before.”

“I already noticed this in his two first Copa America matches, where the team didn’t do well.”

“Leo came out to speak after both of these matches in a moment of urgency with a calmness that was unimaginable from him a few years back.”

“Defeats still hurt him as they always do, but he can solve the heartbreak with a noticeable maturity.”

“There are different ways in which you can be a leader. Some do it from a silent position, but they also lead by example.”

“There are other leaders who make a difference with their behavior or simply a glance.”

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“There are others who can do it through the spoken word or by making demands to their teammates.”

“I don’t think there is a single way to be a leader. What I do think, is that a leader must have that extra special element to him when the moment demands it.”

“That extra special something has to make an impact on the people who surround him. He must generate something that fills his teammates with calmness.”

“I’m not saying this because of me, but for many of the teammates I had over the years.”

“With Leo, for example. A lot of people question the type of leader that he is,” he continued.

“We are used to leaders such as Passarella or Ruggeri, but he is a leader who leads through his game.”

2He is the type of leader who always wants to have the ball during the most important moments, that is what differentiates him from the rest.”

“Roman (Riquelme) was another example. A leader who can carry a team through his game, is a type of player who can bring you that tranquility by simply knowing that you have him by your side.”

“It’s not even important if we lost or won the game. I don’t speak too much with Messi, but we have a great affection for one and other.”

“I don’t usually call my friends too much, neither does he. But it’s very gratifying running into each other in any place around the world.”

“We can spend days talking to each other, or not. When a friendship is this big, you know you don’t have to feed it constantly with phone calls.”

“It’s obvious that we remain in touch when we go through important events in our lives, such as the birth of our children. We will have Leo for a long time.”

“His talent is infinite and he is a freak of nature. It’s obvious that he won’t play at the level he was at 25 by the time he is 40, but he is still at an age where he can bring a lot of happiness to the world of football.”

At what age will Lionel Messi retire from football? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

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