Often described as the best player in the world, five time Ballon dÓr winner who relocated from Rosario, Argentina to Barcelona as a teenager in 2001, Lionel Messi, could have quite easily joined Real Madrid instead of Barcelona!
Horacio Gaggioli, an Argentinian who lived in Barcelona (Messi’s ex-agent) and the man who set up Messi’s tryout with Camp Nou (Home ground of Barcelona Football Club) said that had he taken up residence in Madrid back then; then maybe Barcelona’s Jersey No 10 would have begun his European career at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (Real Madrid’s home ground).
Upon first meeting the future world phenomenon and before taking him to the trial, Gaggioli wasn’t convinced that Messi could play well. He said, “Messi, who broke into the Barcelona senior team as a 17-year-old in 2004, didn’t pass the look test. 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 Barcelona fields, I realized that he was a great player, who could play without a doubt. ”
Explaining his statement about Messi joining Real Madrid instead of Barcelona Gaggioli clarified, “The family wanted to come to Spain, to the city where I was to have some support. Due to life circumstances, I went to live in Barcelona and I brought him to Barcelona 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. Today, Messi could have been a Real Madrid player, of course. That’s life, those are the details.”
Its difficult to absorb this now when Messi has become a decorated player by winning eight La Liga Titles and four Champions League crowns along with a elaborate list of various other laurels being a part of this Catalan Club.