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'He’s never changed' - Banega insists Messi is the same as he was as a child

Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega says Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi has not changed since he was child despite his glittering playing career.

Banega and Messi both grew up in the Argentine city of Rosario and played youth football alongside each other before Banega’s move to Boca Juniors’ academy as a 13-year-old in 2000.

Messi moved to Barcelona a year later, but the pair have remained close friends, particularly when Banega followed him to Spain in 2008 as he signed for Valencia.

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Messi’s on-field behaviour has been brought into question in recent days, with Brazil coach Tite revealing the Argentina captain told him to “shut his mouth” during a fiery friendly between the two great rivals in Riyadh on Friday.