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Lionel Messi was 'tempted' to join Premier League club in transfer that would have changed football history

Lionel Messi was 'tempted' to join Premier League club in transfer that would have changed football history

Messi could have ended up in the Premier League.

Football could have changed forever had Lionel Messi given into his 'temptation' to join one Premier League club.

It's impossible to talk about Messi with mentioning Barcelona, and vice versa.

It was Barcelona that brought the Argentine sensation to Europe at the age of 13, and it was at the Camp Nou that he blossomed into arguably the greatest player the world has ever seen.

Over 17 years at Barcelona, Messi won La Liga 10 times, the Champions League four times and was the centrepiece of one of the greatest teams in history.

After leaving the Catalan giants, Messi finally got his hands on the World Cup trophy with Argentina, and won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time in his career.

However, things could have turned out differently if Messi had given into temptation.

According to the player's former agent, Fabian Soldini, Messi was 'tempted' to leave Barca for Arsenal in 2003.

In an interview in 2020, Soldini recalled the day when Arsenal had just secured the services of 16-year-old midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in 2003.

Fabregas went on to become Arsenal's youngest-ever first team player, aged 16 years and 177 days, and made 350 appearances under Arsene Wenger.

However, the Premier League side also wanted to sign Messi from Barca's La Masia academy.

"[Messi] was tempted to go to Arsenal, but he didn't go," Soldini said via Spanish publication Marca.

Messi and Fabregas could have played together at Arsenal. (

"I remember the day that Cesc [Fabregas] asked to leave. Messi was also asked to go, but he didn't want to leave."

Messis stayed and made his senior Barca bow aged 16 years, four months and 23 days old.

Barcelona legend Xavi recalled being "blown away" by the 16-year-old Messi during his first training session.

"They'd already told me about this kid, I'd been warned that there was this young Argentinian kid coming through who was very good," Xavi told AS.

"They'd even mentioned his name but I'd forgotten," he continued.

"But then, when I saw him in training aged just 16 I could see exactly what they were on about. There was a training drill we used to do in which players are one-on-one against [Lilian] Thuram, and [Carles] Puyol.

"I saw Messi take on those two and couldn't believe my eyes. I thought: 'Blimey, here this kid who's only 16 years old, dodging past professional defenders, internationals.

"Even then you could tell that he was different. It's obvious that he has an innate talent when he is one-against-one, he's fast, he scores goals, he passes, shoots. He's amazing."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Premier League