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Lionel Messi has tried to help Barcelona sign four players over the last decade

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Lionel Messi has spent his whole footballing career at Barcelona.

The 31-year-old Argentine forward made his debut at the age of 17, replacing Deco in a 1-0 away win at Espanyol.

Messi has since won a record-breaking 33 trophies as a Barcelona player - and he's racked up five Ballon d'Or awards too.

Many regard him as the greatest player of all-time.

Since making his La Liga debut in 2004, Messi has witnessed countless players come and go at the Camp Nou.

Typically, he's not involved in the transfer business

But, over the last decade, Messi has urged four players - who were contracted to another club - to sign for Barcelona.

Javier Mascherano

"Javier won't play for the club again, I can assure you of that," said Messi in August 2010. "And I think the Liverpool coach knows that now.

"Javier's family are unhappy and the pressure of seeing that is making him depressed. Liverpool must act humanely and let him go."

Two days later, Barcelona agreed a £16m fee with Liverpool.

Barcelona's Argentinian new player Javie

Messi's international teammate would go on to spend seven-and-a-half successful years at Barcelona before moving to Hebei China Fortune in January 2018.

Cesc Fabregas

Messi publicly urged his former La Masia teammate to quit Arsenal and return to Barcelona on numerous occasions - and Fabregas eventually surrendered to his fate in 2011.

"He [Fabregas] could learn off players like Andres and Xavi, who are the best central midfield pairing in the world," said Messi in 2009.

"If he came here I am sure he would become the greatest midfield player in the world within three years.

However, the Spanish midfielder was not a major success at the Camp Nou and was sold to Chelsea three years later for £30m.

Paulinho

The 30-year-old midfielder joined Barcelona in August 2017 and admitted that Messi convinced him to join during an international friendly between Brazil and Argentina.

Paulinho told Globoesporte: "Messi came over and said, 'Let's go to Barcelona'.

Brazil v Argentina - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier

"I heard him and said, 'If you want to take me there, I'm going'. At that point I almost fell flat on my face but I kept playing!"

The former Tottenham midfielder spent one season at Barcelona before returning to Guangzhou Evergrande in China.

Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid's star man rejected the opportunity to sign for Barcelona this summer, despite Messi urging him otherwise.

"He [Griezmann] is a great player and we would understand each other. He's going through an exceptional moment in his career," Messi told Mundo Deportivo.

"I am in agreement that to win the Champions League again we need to have the best players. And Griezmann is one of them."

Only time will tell if Griezmann made the correct decision to turn down Messi and Barcelona.

Topics:
Football
Paulinho Bezzera Maciel Junior
Cesc Fabregas
Antoine Griezmann
Argentina Football
Barcelona
Lionel Messi

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