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They made me take a picture with Lionel Messi against my will: Former Barcelona player Dani Olmo

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Modified 04 Apr 2021

Former Barcelona player Dani Olmo has revealed that he tried to refuse a picture with Lionel Messi when he was a child.

The Spaniard joined Camp Nou in 2007 but never shareed the pitch with the Argentinean, switching Barcelona for Dynamo Zagreb in 2014. However, his experience of training alongside the likes of Lionel Messi helped him hit the ground running at the Croatian club.

His brilliant performances with Zagreb put him briefly on Barcelona’s radar in January 2020, where a reunion with Lionel Messi became a possibility. However, Olmo moved to RB Leipzig instead and has managed nine goals and 12 assists in 53 games for the Bundesliga side since then.

Speaking to The Players Tribune, the former Barcelona youngster recalled an incident when he first met Lionel Messi, who was then a rising star in the game.

“Once, before I even joined La Masia, I accompanied my father while he was managing a game at Castelldefels. I was eight years old. I was playing happily by myself with a ball, when someone — I think it was a friend of my dad’s — came over and told me, ‘Hey, Dani, come here! You’re not going to believe this. You’re going to have your picture taken with Lionel Messi!’” said Olmo.

The Barcelona ace had come to meet a friend, but little Olmo was not too thrilled to meet him.

“Apparently, Messi had a friend playing in the Castelldefels game and had come down to see him. Wow, Messi, right? In Castelldefels? Which kid wouldn’t want their picture with him? Well, me! I was like, ‘No, thanks. I’m good. I want to keep playing! It’s just a picture, right?’ But,against my will, they stuck me next to Messi and took the picture. I didn’t even say anything to him. I just waited for the click and then I went back to my ball like I was doing him a favour” said Olmo.

Olmo now glad to have a picture with Lionel Messi

Dani Olmo
Dani Olmo

Years later, the former Barcelona youngster is now glad that he was forced to take a picture with Lionel Messi.

“In the end, I have to say I’m glad they forced me because I’ve still got that picture framed at home. At the time though, I wasn’t happy to have my valuable playing time interrupted — even by an icon,” said Olmo.
Published 04 Apr 2021, 19:58 IST
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