Football

Barcelona Ballon d'or finalist wanted Real Madrid move

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All three Ballon d'Or finalists (©GettyImages)
All three Ballon d'Or finalists (©GettyImages).

Andres Iniesta expressed a desire to play for Real Madrid - while he was training at Barcelona's famous La Masia academy.

Iniesta has gone on to become one of the greatest players on the planet and scored to help Spain win the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. For Barcelona, he has won the Champions League three times, and La Liga five times.

However in a video recently discovered on the internet, a 12-year-old Iniesta is seen expressing his desire to one day play for Real Madrid, having just joined Barcelona's famed youth academy.

According to ESPN, the video has been doing the rounds in Spain for some time, but is likely to cause a stir on the eve of Iniesta challenging team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or.

Messi is clear favourite for the award, which will be announced later on this evening (Monday), although Iniesta managed to beat the Argentinian and Ronaldo to the Best Player in Europe award last year.

Back in 2007 Real Madrid were linked with a move for Iniesta, and were willing to activate his €60 million release clause - but the 28-year-old insisted he wanted to end his career at the Nou Camp.

"I’ve been told about that and I’m very surprised. I can’t do anything about it but I’d like to insist once again that I want to stay here," he said at the time. "When I say I want to retire in Barça, I say it with all my heart. And my wishes are above everything else.

Luckily for Iniesta he stuck with Barcelona and helped beat Madrid to the league title in Spain three years in a row between 2008 and 2010, while the Catalan club look likely to make it four out of five this season after opening a 16 point gap over their rivals this term.

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