Real Madrid president Florentino Perez revealed he would have tried to sign Lionel Messi as one of his Galacticos had he been a star in the early 2000s.
In his first stint at the helm of the La Liga giants, Perez helped Madrid sign the likes of Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo and Luis Figo.
The 70-year-old, who first took over as president in 2000, said Messi – who arrived at Barcelona in 2001, coming through the club’s youth academy to develop into one of the greatest players of all time – may have been one of those signings, if he had been at his current level then.
“If there had been a Messi in my first stage [as president], I would have gone after him,” Perez told Cadena SER .
“He is a type of player like Zidane.”
However, Perez said there was no chance of signing Messi now with his ties to Barcelona.
The Argentina international has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns among numerous trophies at Barca, while claiming a record five Ballons d’Or.
“In my first stage, possibly,” Perez said. “He is now a Barca player.
“He has been there since he was a kid. It would be very difficult.”