Lionel Messi is Barcelona. Barcelona is Lionel Messi.
But had life worked out differently the club’s all-time top scorer could have been plying his trade in Serie A with Inter.
Inter legend Luis Suarez (Spaniard not Uruguayan), who played for Barcelona between 1955 and 1961, the year when he won the Ballon d’Or, revealed how close Messi was to leaving.
He told Radio Kiss Kiss: “We could have got him when Barcelona had Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o up front.
“I still have the pre-contractual agreement that he signed.”
These were the days when Messi was still only 18, wearing the no.19, and trying to find his way at the Nou Camp.
Had Messi joined Inter, who were still at the peak of their powers, he would have formed a beautiful South American spine at the San Siro.
Walter Samuel winning the ball out wide, feeding Javier Zanetti who in turn finds Juan Sebastian Veron, who’d been protected by Estaban Cambiasso.
Veron plays in Messi who beats three men before slotting back to Adriano who hammers the ball into the back of the net with a trademark left-foot finish.
The stuff of dreams.
We guess life at Barcelona hasn’t turned out too badly though.