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Barcelona star Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the best player on the planet, and many even see him as the best to have ever played the game.
Chelsea have signed great players in the past, and a fresh report has revealed how the Argentine superstar nearly signed up for the Blues some years ago.
According to transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Messi was keen on leaving Barcelona in 2004, and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was pressing him to make a move to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho reportedly had a long private phone call with the future Barcelona legend, who at the time was not close to breaking into the team.
“I think that one of the most unknown things is the transfer of Messi to Chelsea that did not materialize,” transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed.
“In 2004 he was very close to Chelsea because he wanted to play for Mourinho. There was a long conversation, even a video call between the two.
“That was the first time Messi had decided to leave Barcelona.”
Messi eventually decided to stay put and went on to cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in football history.
In 16 years at the club, he has bagged a record six Ballon d’Or awards, and has helped the Blaugrana to 10 Spanish titles and four Champions League trophies. He has scored an astonishing 635 goals in 734 appearances.
Chelsea fans would only wish what would have been if Messi would have signed up for Chelsea more than a decade ago.