• News

Laporta reveals unbelievable bid Inter made for teenage Messi

Lionel Messi, Inter Milan
Getty Images

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s talents were clear from a young age, prompting Inter to make a huge offer to Barcelona in 2006.

Joan Laporta has revealed Inter Milan offered Barcelona €250m to sign a teenage Lionel Messi in 2006 and on how he kept the player at Camp Nou.

After making his debut as a 16-year-old in a friendly against Jose Mourinho’s Porto in November 2003, Messi soon sealed a permanent spot in the senior team and scored his first goal against Albacete over a year later.

In no time at all, the Argentine became the major attraction in a squad consisting of talents such as Ronaldinho.

Several clubs naturally took an interest in him, with Laporta confirming that then-Inter owner Massimo Moratti lodged a world-record bid in 2006.

“He always had offers: in 2006 Moratti gave me 250 million and I said no, there I saw the esteem of Messi and his family for Barcelona,” said the 58-year-old, who served as Barcelona president between 2003 and 2010, as quoted by Goal.

“His father asked me what I would do as a father and I told him, that the best thing was to stay, I told him that we would make a team that would accompany him to achieve the greatest successes, that would touch the glory and make history.

“I saw his love for the club, the city, ​​and country.”

Messi remains a Barcelona player to this day, having established a legacy as one of the club’s greatest players in history by winning a remarkable 34 pieces of silverware.

Keeping the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has also tallied an incredible 641 goals and 282 assists in 743 games, for next season will be Laporta’s main priority if he wins a second term as club president.