Joan Laporta, formerly Barcelona president and a hopeful future one, has revealed that Inter Milan once offered €250M in exchange for Lionel Messi, report Goal.
Laporta spent seven-years at the helm at the Nou Camp between the years of 2003 and 2010. As reported by Goal, he’s hopeful to replace the departed Josep Maria Bartomeu in office and have a second term as president.
The Spaniard is evidently intent on reaffirming his credentials in the role, too, with Laporta having unearthed some interesting 14-year-old information regarding the greatest player in the club’s history – Lionel Messi.
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Messi has had an incredible career with the Catalan giants, but things could have gone a lot differently, if it wasn’t for Laporta’s interventions to prevent him from leaving. He’s quoted by Goal saying:
“He always had offers: in 2006 Moratti gave me 250 million and said no, there I saw the esteem of Messi and his family for Barcelona.”
“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.”
As reported by Football Paradise, Zinedine Zidane’s £46.6M move to Real Madrid stood as the world record transfer fee until Kaka left AC Milan to sign for Los Blancos in 2009.
That means, with the reported €250M Inter offer converting as around £224M, the Serie A heavyweights would have smashed the world record with a fee 380% higher than what it previously stood at.
With the BBC reporting that Neymar’s move to PSG was priced at ‘only’ £200M, it means that, if what Laporta is saying is true, Messi would still be the world’s most expensive player, 14 years on, even after all the recent inflation.