'Messi was scared at 2010 World Cup'

Copa America

A source close to Lionel Messi has revealed a moment when the Argentina superstar was "truly scared" at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

As Messi looks to lead Argentina to a Copa America title as captain, journalist Marcela Mora y Araujo, who has followed the player throughout his career, recently recalled his first encounter with his country's armband.

According to Reuters, Messi became Argentina's youngest-ever World Cup captain when he led his nation for the first time two days before his 23rd birthday, in their third group match against Greece at the showpiece in Mzansi.

Scroll through the gallery above to see Messi in action at the 2010 World Cup

However, according to Araujo, the playmaker was seriously overwhelmed by the idea of being his national team's captain.

"I remember Seba [Sebastian] Veron, who was playing in the 2010 World Cup with Messi and shared a room with him, said the only time he saw Messi truly, truly scared and worried was when he was given the captaincy and thought he had to speak to the players," she said, according to OTB Sports.

"Veron said that he didn't sleep all night and he was just pacing the room, saying 'I can't speak to the players, I can't speak to the players'.

"Since then, there are always rumours that he doesn't speak or he is unhappy, or some people say if he hangs his head low, that it means something.

"We are all trying to decode Messi and I think that, whereas he is a little more comfortable in the role of captain, I can't imagine him suddenly leading the group in a particularly new way.

"He is who he is and that is almost what makes him quite so interesting and unusual, and certainly very different to characters like [Diego] Maradona and Pele, who are the massive legends of the continent."

Read: Report: Barca ask two stars to leave

Argentina will take on Colombia in their Copa America semi-final early on Wednesday, and should they progress, will face Brazil in the final on 11 July.

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