What languages does Messi speak?

Lionel Messi is a name that needs no introduction in the world of football. The Argentinian’s extraordinary skills on the pitch and his immense presence in the sport have made him a legend. Currently, a part of the Inter Miami squad after making a recent transfer from PSG, Messi has fans across the globe wondering about his life off the pitch, including the languages he speaks. So, without further ado, to answer the question, Messi is fluent in both Spanish and Catalan. But there’s more to his linguistic repertoire. Let’s dive in.

Spanish and Catalan: Messi’s primary languages

Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina, where Spanish is, of course, the primary language. Naturally, he grew up speaking Spanish and is most comfortable in it. This worked out well for Messi when he moved to Spain at the age of 13. His transition to life in Barcelona was made easier as Spanish is widely spoken there.

Barcelona, however, offered more than Spanish. It introduced Messi to Catalan. The city of Barcelona, being the heart of Catalonia, is a region where Catalan is the native language. Over his 20 years of living there, Messi learned and became fluent in Catalan.

Does Messi speak English though?

While Messi has a global fanbase, his English language skills have often been questioned. During public appearances and interviews, Messi usually sticks to Spanish. When he’s had to respond in English, it’s been observed that he might not be fluent. There have been instances where his wife Antonella, a fluent English speaker, has helped him comprehend English queries. So, while Messi may understand English, he’s not quite fluent in it.

Messi and French: a brief encounter

Messi’s linguistic journey doesn’t end here. His transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 brought him face-to-face with a new linguistic challenge: French. Although he made a move to Inter Miami in 2023, his time in Paris could have given him a basic understanding of the language.

Learning languages: a part of the game

One of the unmentioned but integral parts of a footballer’s life, especially those who play in different leagues, is learning new languages. And Messi is no exception. Language acts as a bridge, not just for communication with teammates and coaches but also for settling into a new country and culture.

Messi’s proficiency in Spanish and Catalan made him at home in Barcelona. His stay in the city not only allowed him to score goals but also improved his linguistic abilities. As mentioned, Messi absorbed the regional language, Catalan, giving him a deeper connection with the local people and the culture.

Other football stars and their struggles with the English language

It’s important to remember that Lionel Messi is not alone in his struggles with the English language. There are other high-profile football players who’ve faced similar challenges.

One such player is Brazilian superstar, Neymar Jr. Despite playing for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona just like Messi, Neymar’s English skills have remained somewhat limited, with the player often resorting to translators or teammates for assistance during English interviews.

Similarly, Spanish players like David Silva and Andrés Iniesta have also struggled with English, despite spending significant time playing in leagues outside their home country. Even the German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger, who played for Manchester United, had some difficulty with English despite his efforts to learn the language.

Ultimately, these examples serve to illustrate that football definitely transcends linguistic boundaries. The beautiful game speaks a universal language that connects players and fans alike, regardless of their mother tongue. And as these players prove, while speaking English might be helpful, it’s certainly not a prerequisite for being a world-class footballer.


To conclude, Messi’s linguistic skills encompass Spanish and Catalan fluently, a basic understanding of English, and perhaps a tiny bit of French. While Messi’s language skills may be of interest, what truly stands out about him is his extraordinary football ability. At the end of the day, Messi’s most fluent language is football, and that’s a language he speaks like no other. Whether it’s through a breathtaking goal or his dedication to the sport, Messi communicates best on the football pitch. And that’s the language all his fans understand perfectly.