Barcelona star Lionel Messi turned down Inter Milan in 2008, former technical director reveals

Ben Hayward
AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi rejected the chance to join Inter Milan in 2008, the club's former technical director has revealed.

At that time, the Argentine attacker was already one of the world's most exciting talents, although he would go on to reach new levels following the arrival of Pep Guardiola as coach in the summer of 2008.

"We wanted Messi at Inter and we moved in that direction," Marco Branca told TMW Radio. "But Leo didn't want to leave Barcelona."

Branca hinted that the Italian giants were ready to offer the young forward a significant financial package to swap Camp Nou for San Siro.

"He was very grateful," the former striker said. "But the economic aspect doesn't always come first."

Messi has gone on to win 34 major trophies at Barcelona, including 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues, as well as claiming six Ballons d'Or in the process and scoring an amazing 627 goals in 718 games for the Catalan club.