Stories about Lionel Messi’s time at Barcelona have been coming to the light recently. And in this article, we are zoning in on the very beginning. In 2000, Barcelona handed the youngster a trial so that they could sign him afterwards.
But, in 2001, the members of the board were not convinced due to his health issues. The chairman of the Blaugrana at the time, Joan Gaspart offered Messi a contract worth €600,000 per year. At the time, it was unlikely for young players to receive contracts as expensive as this one.
Lionel Messi’s story – how things started at Barcelona
Barcelona’s sporting director at the time, Javier Perez Farguell asked for Messi to be sent back to Argentina, at the age of 14. He dismissed the proposal of signing the youngster, which would ultimately be overturned.
Jorge Valdano, the president of Real Madrid at the time, tried to hijack Barcelona’s pursuit of the talented youngster. They were willing to offer a better pay to Messi than the Blaugrana were too.
But, the Blaugrana were able to sign him for a wage lower than what they initially offered due to official constraints. And the rest is history.
The Argentinian would go on to become one of the greatest players to ever play the sport, and Barcelona’s greatest-ever player. The seven-time Ballon d’Or spent over two decades at Camp Nou before moving on to join PSG last summer.