FC Barcelona icon Lionel Messi's former agent has said that the Argentine superstar was slated to join bitter rivals, Real Madrid when he was just 13 years old.
Horacio Gaggioli, who lived in Messi's home town of Rosario in Argentina, had set up the budding superstar's trial with the Catalan giants.
"Due to life circumstances, I went to live in Barcelona and I brought him to Barca for a trial. But I was about to live in Madrid," Gaggioli was quoted as saying by ESPNFC on Saturday.
"If that had happened, I would have taken him to Madrid for a trial. That's life, those are the details.
"Today, Messi could have been a Real Madrid player, of course. The family wanted to come to Spain, to the city where I was to have some support," the Argentine added.
Gaggioli told Globoesporte that when he first saw Messi, he was convinced he was not cut out to be a successful footballer as he was too "skinny and small".
"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 Barca fields, I realised that he was a great player, who could play without a doubt," he said.
Messi has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns with Barcelona. The 30-year-old, who is playing for the Catalan giants since 2004, has scored 349 goals in 382 appearances for the former European champions.
Messi is also a five-time Ballon d'Or winner.