We offered Messi triple his salary; he refused it

We offered Messi triple his salary; he refused it

Messi at Barcelona is one thing and another with Argentina.

"Messi is Messi at Barcelona and Messi is Messi with Argentina". Asked if there was a player he would have liked to have signed but didn't, "Yes, Messi", he replied.

The 31-year-old linked up with Barcelona in 2001, and has gone to become one of the greatest players in the history of football with 563 goals being scored in 648 appearances in all competitions.

That comment was believed to refer to Messi's extreme nerves before games, which have seen him vomit ahead of some important matches. "It's useless to try and make a leader out of someone that goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game".

Messi reportedly earns over £100million a year as a Barcelona player and is the best paid footballer in the world.

Messi and Maradona are both revered in Argentina as the best two players the football-mad country has ever produced.

But he has struggled to reproduce the same scintillating form when wearing the blue and white of Argentina.

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The Premier League champions say there is no truth to the suggestion, which surfaced in Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, that Pep Guardiola tried to persuade Messi to move to the Etihad Stadium on a deal that would have been worth more than £1 million per week.

Afterwards some other "quotes" were published, which claimed he said: "We asked Guardiola to talk to him, we offered him triple the salary that he had at Barca but he never accepted".

Messi captained Argentina during their disappointing World Cup campaign in Russian Federation but hasn't been called up for worldwide duty since.

This time previous year Messi scored a hat-trick as Argentina beat Ecuador 3-1 in a must win game to see them qualify for Russian Federation 2018.

"You have to take the leadership away for him to be the Messi we want him to be", Maradona said.

However, Lionel Scaloni's new-look side face a sterner examination of their credentials on Tuesday when they meet South American rivals Brazil in Jeddah.

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