Even with Lionel Messi’s stunning debut winner, body language expert thinks he might not be confident

Darron Stanton has made a career out of reading the body language of famous people, to the point where he has been called the “Human Lie Detector” in England after numerous appearances on television.

He has made some claims about seven-time (and probably soon-to-be eight-time) Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi that might surprise anyone who watched the Inter Miami contest Friday night.

Of course, Messi made what might have been the most anticipated debut in Major League Soccer history even more dramatic with his 94th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup South Group 3 contest.

But Stanton thinks even with that winner, and the celebration during and after the contest, that Messi might not be as thrilled to be playing in South Florida as people think.

Here are some excerpts from the interview that Stanton did for BonusCodeBets last week, which state that Messi might not be as happy as he was letting on during the unveiling as an Inter Miami player.

Even though he says he’s excited, Lionel Messi ‘flashing signs of fear’ as he showcases signs ‘he’s not that comfortable’ whilst addressing the Miami fans

“There are a few gestures which Messi leaked straight off the bat. One was when he started rubbing the back of his neck, which is a pacifying gesture. This is a gesture you do to give yourself reassurance when you’re not feeling completely confident in what you’re saying. Straight away, he was flashing signs of fear, because he’s not that comfortable or confident talking in front of such a large number of people, so he probably feels out of his depth. Also, he was shuffling around on his feet. If someone shuffles around on their feet, it’s a sign of a lack of confidence. Not only that, he kept switching from holding the microphone in one hand to then holding it in both hands, which is like a defensive mechanism – creating a barrier between himself and a potential threat. So, these are a few gestures that he leaked straight off the bat which show that he’s not massively confident with talking in this context.”

Messi caught ‘displaying a fake smile’ because he displays signs of ‘not really wanting to be there’

“I feel that he was displaying a fake smile. In this context, he’s actually fashioning a fake smile because he feels like a fish out of water. He’s not comfortable, and he’s masking his emotions of fear and anxiousness by putting on a brave face.

“Throughout his speech, he appears lack-lustered. He makes this dismissive gesture with his hand as if to show that he doesn’t really care. Apathy and indifference are the right words to use here as he’s not showing any excitement or genuine joy. He’s masking the emotions of being frustrated, not feeling that confident, and not really wanting to be there. This is how it seems because his shoulder shrug gesture denotes complete apathy. When he makes this gesture with his hand, it shows he doesn’t really care that much.”

Lionel Messi ‘does have genuine apathy’, which is matched by his family who also don’t appear ‘genuinely excited’ by his move to the MLS

“The wave to the fans shows indifference as well. It’s like he wants to get away from there. From that perspective, he does have genuine apathy because he simply looks like he doesn’t want to be there. He’s probably under duress and a bit tired, whilst being told to go out to this event and getting told what to do. He’s put his body language out there now so people will be able to see the disingenuous emotions and the fact that he doesn’t want to be there.

“I don’t think anybody in his family seems to be genuinely excited – they don’t seem bothered at all, like this move is a big hindrance. The organisers and the fans seem to be the only ones genuinely excited. Personally, I don’t think it’s going to be a right fit for him overall.”

Introducing Darren Stanton:

Darren Stanton is a former police officer with Derbyshire police with a degree in psychology, who used  his expertise to uncover the truth when interviewing hundreds of suspects.

He later moved into media and TV as a consultant, being dubbed the “Human Lie Detector” appearing on the likes of BBC’s The One Show, ITV’s This Morning with Phillip and Holly as well as working on screen with criminal barrister  Robert “Judge” Rinder. He has also analysed heightened political situations including General Election debates and key interviews with the likes of Dominic Cummings.

In the US, Stanton has been an expert on shows on Apple TV and Amazon Prime, along with Judge Rinder’s popular Crime Investigation series