Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic: ‘Lionel Messi is not the example to follow, Joselu is’

Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic has said that children coming through football academies should look more towards the likes of Joselu Mato than Lionel Messi when it comes to setting themselves goals. The ex-Roma and Milan player came through La Masia and made his debut at the age of just 17, when he moved up to first team, but suffered in the public eye, causing him panic attacks.

With the likes of Lamine Yamal (15), Gavi (16) and Pedri (17), coming into the side at a young age,  Bojan was critical of this acceleration of youngsters through the ranks, missing out Barca Atletic in many cases.

“A 15-year-old boy already wants to go to train with the reserve team and the 16-year-old boy wants to go to train with the first team, we are normalising something that is not normal.”

The latest to debut was Marc Guiu (16), who scored on his debut. He was thrown on in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, who was injured. Barcelona do not have a back-up centre-forward, without Vitor Roque (a deal Barcelona couldn’t afford to do this summer), and Ansu Fati, who was loaned out in order to bring in Joao Felix on loan.

“The economic issue has a lot of influence because the teams are as they are and it is almost obligatory to bet on young people. The situation makes everyone run too fast and we should all stop it. We are talking about kids at the age of education, children who we should talk to.”

“The ideal would be to grow in your own academy. We have to give value to the player who is in the youth team, giving value to being in the youth team, not wanting to move up. This is how you give value to arriving in the first team, because there is a lot of merit in reaching the first team of Madrid, Valencia or City. You have to make the effort valued.”

Recently a documentary about Bojan’s experiences was released, something he wanted to do in order to share his experiences.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do. Transfer my experiences as a player. What people think is very beautiful, but where there is suffering and effort. I wanted to explain what I experienced. The reason for my decisions giving a positive message. It is not a documentary just for football fans, it goes further, it talks about personal situations and sends the message that Messi is not the example,” he told Diario AS.

“Neither Messi nor Cristiano nor Rafa Nadal are ordinary cases, they cannot be the example for young people. They are extraordinary. Success is not that, it is only going to happen to them. Success can be applied to many scenarios.”

He was clear that players aiming to make rapid progress like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Rafael Nadal was the exception to the rule, and others with more sustainable trajectory were better role models, including Real Madrid striker Joselu Mato.

“For me Sergio Canales is a successful athlete because he has torn his knee three times and has made it to the National Team. Joselu, at 33 years old, has arrived in Madrid. These situations are successful.”


Tags Barcelona Bojan Krkic Joselu Mato Lionel Messi Rafael Nadal Real Betis Real Madrid


  1. Why, how?. I don’t expect such comment from L.Messi former teammate.
    Bojan Kirkich, is it your comment on the World number one player is really or for getting attention from media?.

    1. Bro, did you even read the article. It has nothing to do with hate to Messi. If anything it’s praising him. Learn to read

      1. Correct… Nadal, Messi and Ronaldo are exceptions. It’s talent and dedication. He is not saying, don’t look at Mess, he says set your own. pace of progress and enjoy being in Youth League for learning.

    2. I bet u only read the tittle not the whole article, he said u cant be like messi coz messi is extraordinary

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