Messi was emerging as a prodigious talent in 2004, and a move to Chelsea would have seen as a surprise across Europe.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi called Mourinho "privately"
It has been reported that Lionel Messi conducted a long, private talks with Jose Mourinho with an eye on leaving Barcelona for Chelsea.
The Argentine was about to turn 17 and was keen to play under the Portuguese manager, who had won the Champions League with Porto that very year. He had subsequently left the Portuguese club to join Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Messi remained at Barcelona, making his debut for the club shortly afterwards. Since then, the 33-year old has made 734 appearances in all competitions for the club and scored an astounding 635 goals. He is regarded as Barcelona's greatest player of all-time and one of the best players to have played the game.
Mourinho, meanwhile, would enjoy stellar success at Chelsea, before winning the treble with Inter Milan and enjoying managerial stints at Real Madrid and Manchester United. He is currently the manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Messi dominated much of the transfer window gone by, as he declared his intention to leave his beloved Barcelona in the summer. Manchester City were mooted as the ideal destination for the player, but the move failed to occur.
Messi has only one year left in his contract and has affirmed his desire to leave the club next summer. For now, he continues to captain the club and has been everpresent so far this season.
Barcelona have begun a new era under manager Ronald Koeman, who was appointed after the embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Long-serving players Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez have departed for Sevilla and Atletico Madrid respectively, with Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Arthur Melo leaving the club as well.
Due to a fragile financial situation, Barcelona have not been extremely active in the transfer window, bringing in Sergino Dest, Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic.
Published 08 Oct 2020, 22:48 IST