La Liga: Lionel Messi almost ended up playing for Real Madrid instead of Barcelona, claims former agent
Lionel Messi's former agent Horacio Gaggioli reveals how the Barcelona ace could have ended up playing for arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2001.
Imagine Lionel Messi playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in a Real Madrid T-shirt in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu. Well, as improbable as it sounds at the moment, it could have been a possibility had his former agent Horacio Gaggioli settled down in Madrid while relocating.
In February 2001, Messi had moved from Rosario, Argentina, to Barcelona as a 13-year-old under Gaggioli's assistance, who lived in the city and had secured a tryout for Messi with the Camp Nou club the previous September.
Interestingly, Gaggioli revealed in his chat with Globoesporte that had he taken up residence in Madrid back then, Barcelona's top scorer would have begun his European career with the Los Blancos.
“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. If that had happened, I would have taken him to Madrid for a trial. That’s life, those are the details,” Gaggioli was quoted by saying Globoesporte.
Gaggioli also confirmed that Messi could have ended up playing 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.
The Argentine agent also revealed that he was not convinced that Messi could be a footballer when he met the Barcelona No 10 for the first time.
"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," he concluded.
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