Lionel Messi could have been a Galactico says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez

The 70-year-old, who is in his second spell as Real president, said he would have signed Lionel Messi for Real if the Argentine forward was around during his first stint as president

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi Reuters

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez admitted he wishes he would have signed Lionel Messi as one of his Galacticos.

Perez, who first took over as president in 2000, is in his second spell as Real president - and revealed the Argentina superstar would have been one of his top Galactico targets during his first stint at the Bernabeu helm if he had been at his current level then.

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Messi joined Barcelona as a teenager from Newell's Old Boys, a year after Perez took charge at Madrid.

In his first stint at the helm of the LaLiga giants, Perez helped Madrid sign the likes of Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo and Luis Figo.

"If there had been a Messi in my first stint [as president], I would have gone after him," Perez told Cadena SER, as reported by FourFourTwo.

"He is a type of player like Zidane."

However, Perez said there was no chance of signing Messi now.

"He is now a Barca player.

"He has been there since he was a kid. It would be very difficult."

Messi arrived in Barcelona in 2001, coming through the club's youth academy to develop into one of the greatest players of all time, has won eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns among numerous trophies at Barca, while claiming a record five Ballons d'Or, as reported by Goal.

And although quite a few players have swapped loyalties between the two Spanish giants before, including Luis Enrique, the manager of Barcelona last season, no one has done it in the recent years since Luis Figo left Barcelona for Real Madrid in the year 2000. He was Perez's first acquisition of the so called "Galacticos".

Amidst all of this, Messi, whose contract with the Catalan giants is supposed to end next summer, has yet to sign a new contract.

However, Barcelona chief Joseph Bartomeu insists Messi has penned an extension to stay with the Catalan giants.

"It's all agreed and signed," he told Spanish newspaper, Sport.

"There are three contracts. One with the Messi Foundation, which is signed with the president of the Foundations and the player's brother."