Renowned sports journalist Guillem Balagué has disclosed how Real Madrid could have signed Lionel Messi back in 2001.
Messi joined the Barcelona’s La Masia as a 13-year-old kid after his family agreed to let him join the Camp Nou club.
According to Balague, Barcelona agreed to pay Messi a salary of one hundred million peseras per season, but then Blaugrana’s sporting director, Javier Perez Farguell opposed the move.
Farguell, who was was stunned to see Messi’s contract, deemed it excessive and presented a lower offer.
“Who does he think he is? Maradona? Let’s stop this and let him go back to Argentina”, he said, according to Balagué.
This prompted Jorge Valdano, who at the time was Real Madrid’s sporting director, to pounce on Messi’s signature because the Los Blancos were willing to pay more. But Valdano later pulled the plug on the move in order to avoid going to war with Barcelona.
Messi went on to join Barcelona and the rest is history.
Lionel Messi will feature for PSG when they face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League knock out stage on Tuesday evening.
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