‘Lionel Messi could have played for Real Madrid instead of Barcelona’
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‘Lionel Messi could have played for Real Madrid instead of Barcelona’

At the age of 13, Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi came close to joining the Real Madrid camp, revealed his former agent Horacio Gaggioli.

football Updated: Jun 24, 2017 13:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Lionel Messi,FC Barcelona,Real Madrid C.F.
Lionel Messi has won 29 trophies with Barcelona, including eight La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and five Copas del Rey.(Getty Images)

Watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play for the same side may have been a reality, as at 13, the Argentinian football player could have joined the Real Madrid camp rather than Barcelona.

Messi’s former agent Horacio Gaggioli reveals he might have settled down in Madrid when he was relocating. In February 2001, Messi had moved from Rosario, Argentina, to Barcelona as a youth with the assistance of Gaggioli.

(Read | Lionel Messi offers to pay $558,000 to avoid 21-month jail sentence)

Gaggioli was the one who had arranged for Messi’s try out with Barcelona. Interestingly, Gaggioli reveals he was previously mulling over settling down in Madrid, but eventually went to Barcelona.

“Due to life circumstances, I went to live in Barcelona and I brought him to Barca for a trial. But I was about to live in Madrid,” Gaggioli was quoted as saying by Globoesporte, according to ESPN. “If that had happened, I would have taken him to Madrid for a trial. That’s life, those are the details,” he added.

(Read | Lionel Messi’s Argentine hometown geared up for ‘wedding of the decade’)

Gaggioli said Messi could have played for Real Madrid. “Today, Messi could have been a Real Madrid player, of course. The family wanted to come to Spain, to the city where I was to have some support,” he said.

Recalling one of his earlier meetings with Messi, Gaggioli said he was not fully convinced with the young footballer. “When I saw him at the airport, I thought that boy could not be a footballer, because he was too small and skinny. I did not have a good impression. But when I saw him training in the Barca fields, I realised that he was a great player, who could play without a doubt,” Gaggioli added.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 12:53 IST