Little Lleida so close to signing Barcelona star Messi

Little Lleida came close to signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi eight years ago, it has been revealed.

Little Lleida came close to signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi eight years ago, it has been revealed.

In 2004, Lleida struck a partnership agreement with Barca and one of their first requests was the signing of a teenage Messi.

Negotiations were opened, says El Mundo Deportivo, though quickly brought to a halt by then sports director Txiki Begiristain, who was convinced of the Argentine's talent.

A year later, Messi was already playing regular first team football for Frank Rijkaard.

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