Lionel Messi has responded to comments from Barack Obama saying the president and his two daughters would like to meet the FC Barcelona and Argentina star.
"Obviously, I was surprised that Obama said that, but on the contrary, for me it would be completely the opposite," Messi stated. "For me it would be a source of great pride to be able to meet him and his daughters, but obviously I know it would be complicated."
Obama had expressed his desire to arrange a meeting with Messi for his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, during a diplomatic trip to Argentina.
Messi - often praised for his humble demeanor - said he was caught off-guard by the president's wish. "I don't know whether it is possible," the soccer superstar said. "Maybe he made the comment because he was in Argentina, but I can say I was as surprised as everyone else."
According to the Catalan paper Ara, the FC Barcelona PR department was caught by surprise as well by Obama's comments. The club is apparently looking into inviting the US president to watch a game at Camp Nou, though the option is not seen as particularly likely..
Obama had publicly mentioned Messi before. In 2011, the president was given a personalized #10 "Obama" jersey by the Colorado Rapids. While accepting the gift, Obama joked: , "As you know, the number 10 is the leader. So, me and Messi, we're right up there."
Messi also drew praise for his performance on the pitch earlier this week, as Argentina overcame continental champions Chile, 2-1.