The former Eindhoven giants chairman has disclosed that his side came close to acquiring the services of the Barcelona star on loan in 2005, but the unwillingness of La Liga side’s technical staff to send the Argentinean away hindered the transfer.
Rob Westerhof, the former PSV Eindhoven chairman, has revealed that his side almost secured the services of Lionel Messi on loan in 2005.
The Argentinean star had already made his official debut for Barcelona, but his failure to acquire a Spanish passport prompted the Catalan giants to send the youngster on a season-long loan spell.
“We're talking about the spring of 2005. I had a pretty good relationship with Barcelona president Joan Laporta and he approached me during a G14 meeting. He told me they had this successful young player called Messi, and wanted to ship him out on loan to
us as Spanish regulations prevented him from playing for them. PSV had a pretty good reputation at the time”, Westerhof was quoted as saying to an exclusive interview to goal.com.
The Barca management had good terms with the PSV management, and reportedly offered the talented attacker to the Boeren, who were keen to accept the proposal. However, at the last moment, the Catalans backed out from sending the promising youngster at Philips
“We knew that he was an excellent player and there was no problem for us. We were enthusiastic about the signing of Messi. But when we then wanted to make a move, Laporta gave me a call. He told me the technical staff was against the transfer”, Westerhof
Messi, who started his professional career at Camp Nou in the 2004/05 season after coming through the ranks of the club’s youth academy, has thus far represented the Catalan giants in well over 200 La Liga appearances, netting a phenomenal 196 goals while
setting up plenty more along the way.
The 25-year-old has also won several pieces of silverware thus far, and has helped Barca to be crowned European champions on three occasions. In addition, the talented forward has recently claimed his fourth successive Ballon d’Or award.
The Argentinean attacker, who has also represented Argentina national football team in 76 games thus far, would be keen to continue performing brightly and keep on claiming silverware in the coming years.