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Soccer is Lindsay Horan's life. But her love for the game didn't happen overnight.
"The obsession with football didn’t actually start with Messi," Horan, the American star who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain and the US Women's National Team, recently revealed in an article she penned for The Players' Tribune.
"I wish I could say that I saw Barcelona playing on TV and fell in love with football instantly, but I’m from Colorado and Fox Soccer Channel was pretty expensive. It was a slow burn."
That anecdote is just one of several she opens up about in the piece. And being a known Barça fan, talking about her passion for FC Barcelona was clearly unavoidable. Among the reminiscing, she tells the following short stories.
How she got started
"My mom went to the library and brought home a bunch of books on how to coach soccer, and that was it. She was my first manager. And you can laugh, but I swear to God, she was a master of psychology. She was part Pep [Guardiola]..."
"...It’s funny, I had always dreamed about playing at the World Cup, but after I fell in love with Barca, I started to dream about playing for the big clubs in Europe, too."
Inspired by Messi
"When I turned 11, I started playing more seriously for one of the big club’s teams, the Colorado Rush. And the coach who changed my life was Tim Schultz. One day after practice, he told me, “You really need to watch this Lionel Messi kid.”
At the time, Messi was only 17 or 18, and he had just started at Barca. I fell in love with his game right away. He was so small, but he was a genius. I know it’s kind of cliche to say Messi is your hero, but it was special for me because I was training with our boys’ team a lot in order to push myself. I was really inspired by the way Messi could still control a game despite being the smallest person on the pitch.
So the Messi posters started to go up all over my room."
"I’ve never told this story before, and I probably shouldn’t tell it but hey why not.
We were all invited to watch PSG’s Champions League match against Barcelona in 2013, and I think we’ve already established that I was absolutely not going to that match as anything but a Barca fan.
So we sit down, and I’m wearing a jacket, and my one of teammates is like, “Lindsey, what are you wearing?”
She points to my shirt under my jacket, and she’s like, “You cannot wear that.”
I was rocking my Messi jersey underneath.
She’s like, “If any PSG staff see you, this is going to be a problem! Big problem!”
I was like, “I can do whatever I want!”
And she was like, “No, seriously, they’re going to kill you.”
So I zipped it back up.
But then Messi scored the first goal, and I couldn’t help myself. I did the Hulk Hogan thing where I tore the jacket off to reveal the Barca shirt underneath.
We’re surrounded by thousands of crazed PSG fans, and I’m yelling, “Messi! Messi!”
It was awesome. I don’t regret it."
This is Happening
The full piece, along with an accompanying video, can be seen at The Players' Tribune.
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