Messi was on the brink of playing for Mourinho at Chelsea

It has been revealed that the first time Lionel Messi contemplated at leaving Barcelona was in 2004 when he wanted to play for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho

The Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi was on the verge of leaving Barcelona after he put in a transfer request, but the Catalans refused to grant him his request with one year left on his contract.

However, as journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed, the first time Messi thought of leaving the Blaugrana was in 2004 he was persuaded by Jose Mourinho to join Chelsea following a private talk, the deal fell through.

The Barcelona captain remained at the club and 16 years later, at the age of 33, decided to ask to be released.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu did not grant his request and pointed potential suitors to Messi's 700-million-euro release clause.

With one year left in his contract, the Argentina international made the decision to stay at the club despite rumours linking him with a move to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

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