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Lionel Messi reacts to Manu Ginobili’s retirement

Lionel Messi, Manu Ginobili

FC Barcelona superstar and Argentinian Lionel Messi reacted to the retirement of San Antonio Spurs’ superstar Manu Ginobili.

As posted by Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints, below is Messi’s message for Ginobili:

“Thanks for making us enjoy basketball so much, Manu!” said Messi. “Things won’t be the same without you on the court. Wishing you all the very best in your new chapter!”

While the two athletes play different sports, their names have been mentioned in the same sentence several times. They may be known all over the world, but they never forget where they came from. The Argentinian blood runs through their veins and it is something they have represented well.

At one point, Ginobili defended Messi against all of his critics. According to them, Messi hasn’t led the Argentian squad to world titles like football legend Diego Maradona. As per Ben Valentine of Goal, Ginobili said:

“Criticize our most valuable jewel is crazy,” he said. “We don’t recognize him as he deserves, it’s sad.”

“There are doubts about Messi, I can’t believe it,” he said. “We reached the last two finals (World Cup and Copa America) because of him.”

Messi, for his part, has campaigned for Ginobili to be part of various All-Star games. On top of this, Messi didn’t mince his words when he called Ginobili a genius on the court, also noting his team-first attitude. Messi also preferred to be called the Manu of football, instead of calling Manu the Messi of basketball, per Marca.com:

“We all know Manu is a genius out on court, one who makes the difference because, as well as his ability, he’s always thinking about what the team needs to win. He has an amazing mentality and I can tell from the way he acts and talks that he’s a great leader who puts the team above his own performance.”

“It makes me hugely proud to hear journalists call Manu the Messi of basketball, but actually they should call me the Manu of football.”