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Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005

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Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005 Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005

Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Barcelona icon Lionel Messi was “very close” to joining Espanyol back when he played for the club in 2005. Pochettino starred for […]The post Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005 appeared first on Squawka News.

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Barcelona icon Lionel Messi was “very close” to joining Espanyol back when he played for the club in 2005.
Pochettino starred for the Periquitos in two spells at the club, between 1994-2001 and 2003-2006, and made over 300 appearances for the club, winning two Copa del Reys and 20 caps for Argentina in the process.

Messi, however, has gone on to unparalleled success with Espanyol’s city rivals, Barcelona, winning multiple major honours and breaking almost every record in the process.
According to the now-Tottenham Hotspur manager, though, it all could have been very different, with Messi coming very close to a move across town after impressing against Juventus while playing in the Joan Gamper Trophy.
“I started to hear about him when I was at Espanyol ? a small guy playing in the academy in Barcelona,” Pochettino said (via Goal) ahead of Tottenham’s tie with Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“He arrived when he was 13 years old, going from Argentina to Barcelona. Then I heard he was so close to signing for Espanyol ? very close ? in the season Barcelona played against Juventus under [Fabio] Capello in the Joan Gamper Cup. “Because he was so fantastic in the Joan Gamper, Capello praised him afterwards and they changed the decision and kept Messi at Barcelona.
“So if you look back in history, maybe if he didn’t play in the Joan Gamper that summer, maybe today he could have been the biggest star in Espanyol and Espanyol could be Barcelona.
“We would have been team-mates, and maybe I would have still been in Espanyol managing him.”
Mauricio Pochettino in action for Espanyol in 2005
Messi’s debut came in a 1-0 win against Pochettino’s Espanyol in 2004, but the 46-year-old has admitted that he struggles to pick out five-time Balon d’Or winner in that particular occasion, as he was just another youngster from the La Masia academy.
“When Messi made his debut, it was like another youngster that had arrived to the Barcelona team from the academy ? like it was Xavi or [Andres] Iniesta or Ivan de la Pena,” he said.
“Actually, no. When De la Pena started to play for Barcelona [in 1995], there was an explosion of excitement.
“I always remember Ronaldo saying he was the best player that he saw in his life and he played with.”
The post Pochettino: Messi almost joined Espanyol in 2005 appeared first on Squawka News.



Fuente de la noticia: squawka.tottenham
Fecha de publicación: 03-10-2018 08:47
visto: 6

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