‘I Thought It Was a Joke’ – Mauricio Pochettino Shares His Reaction to When Leonardo Told Him About Pursuing Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s departure from FC Barcelona caught many by surprise as it seemed as though the 34-year-old would sign his new contract with the Spanish side.

However, Barcelona could not fit his contract under the salary cap to comply with La Liga’s rules. As a result, Messi had to leave, and with the exit occurring in the final month of the transfer window, there weren’t many options for him but Paris Saint-Germain.

Nonetheless, in an interview with El Partidazo de COPEmanager Mauricio Pochettino admitted that he believed PSG sporting director Leonardo was playing a joke on him when the Brazilian club chief first told him that Messi’s signing was possible.

“Leonardo called me and said: ‘The possibility is there. Would you like it or not?’ The good thing is that he called me to ask. I said to myself: ‘Is it a question?’ I thought it was a joke, no? Of course,” Pochettino said.

“I told him: ‘Do we have to go and get him? Do I have to drive the van?’ And that is when the negotiation started. From then on, Leonardo would call me every night to tell me how the situation was.”

The 34-year-old would sign with the Ligue 1 side on August 10th, inking a two-year deal with an option for a third. Thus, the Argentine forward began his new chapter in the French capital, playing with a club outside of Argentina and Spain for the first time. 

Tags Barcelona Leonardo Lionel Messi Mauricio Pochettino