Legendary Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has revealed that he tried to get Lionel Messi to commit to La Roja before Argentina, while he believes the forward is the best player in football history.
Admiration for Messi is at an all-time high after he led Argentina to World Cup glory this winter.
Del Bosque oversaw the most successful period in Spain’s history, leading his country to their first World Cup in 2010 and retaining the European Championship in 2012.
In an interview with Radio Marca, Del Bosque revealed his admiration for Messi and admitted that he tried to convince him to play for Spain instead of Argentina.
“The best player I’ve ever seen is Messi. Between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, I’ll take Messi. Of all the players I’ve known in football for so many years, Messi for me, for his consistency and quality. The player, he was impressive. He had had some fantastic seasons and always led his team forward,” he said.
“I tried everything to get Messi to play for Spain. But Lionel refused because of the love he has for his country.”
Messi moved to Spain at the age of 13 and was courted by their football federation almost as soon as he landed in Barcelona.
He made his first appearance for Argentina’s youth clubs a few days after he turned 17.