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28th Jan 2016

Real Madrid have tried really hard to sign Lionel Messi

Tom Victor

You probably think no one would move from Barcelona to Real Madrid, least of all Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has spent his whole career with the Catalan club, but that reportedly hasn’t stopped their fiercest rivals trying to secure his services – on three separate occasions.

Sport English cites a report from Spanish radio station Cadena Cope claiming Madrid tried to convince Messi to make the same move which saw Luis Figo become a figure of hate in Catalonia.

Barcelona fans

The first attempt was allegedly made in 2011, when Cristiano Ronaldo was thought to be the subject of interest from Manchester City.

Further efforts are said to have followed in 2013, when Barcelona beat their rivals to the signing of Neymar, and again in 2015.

The report claims Madrid sent an intermediary not affiliated to the club to open discussions on the first occasion, though the extent of any pursuit is up for debate.

‘Tried to sign’ is such a broad term, that could cover anything from serious contract discussions to a single phonecall in which it was determined there was no chance of a move.

Perhaps it was like when Macclesfield Town tried to crowdfund a bid for Raheem Sterling. Who knows?