What's the story?
Lionel Messi grabbed the headlines again this week with a magisterial two-goal display, enabling Barcelona to steamroll English heavyweights Liverpool 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.
As per Marca, 2010 World Cup winning manager with Spain, Vincente del Bosque has revealed that he would have loved to have coached the Argentinian ace if he had chosen to represent Spain.
In case you didn't know...
Lionel Messi had left his home country Argentina to join the Barcelona academy in 2001 and from the onset and the Spanish footballing authorities were behind him to convince the mercurial Messiah to play for the Spanish National Team.
Messi is having an otherworldly season even going by his standards, netting 48 goals and 16 assists in all competitions. It is no surprise that the Barcelona captain is the overwhelming favorite for a record 6th Ballon d'Or given he is leading Barcelona to a historic treble of trebles and leading the roost in the European Golden Boot, La Liga and UEFA Champions League scoring charts.
The heart of the matter
Vicente del Bosque, who famously led a Spain side comprised of Barcelona legends like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique and Busquets to their maiden World Cup triumph, remarked in a recent interview that he would have loved to have coached Messi in the La Furia Roja colors.
""Messi would've added value to the Spanish national team," Del Bosque said.
"I insisted that the Spanish Football Federation did everything they could to try and get Messi to play for Spain, but Lionel didn't want to and rejected us because he wanted to play for his country.
The former Real Madrid boss also said it would have been a dream come true if he had gotten the opportunity to guide the Barcelona captain
"Messi coming to our team wouldn't have made things worse, it would've been for the best. Messi is Messi and there is only one [of him]. I don't know if we would've won more, but I'm sure that he wouldn't have harmed us, but bettered us instead.If we're talking about dreams, I would've liked to have coached Messi with Spain," he said.
"I've also been lucky to coach great and fantastic players. Messi is level [with them], if not better."
Having wrapped up the La Liga title last weekend, Ernesto Valverde's is likely to rest Messi for Sunday's away trip to Celta Vigo. The Blaugrana head to Anfield to face Liverpool in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal, with the kickoff scheduled for Wednesday, 12:30 AM IST.Published 03 May 2019, 12:01 IST