Norwegian third tier side IK Junkeren sign 16-year-old called Lionel Messi


Many clubs have dreamed of luring Lionel Messi from Barcelona over the years. 

There have long been unconfirmed rumours that Manchester City once tried to bid over £700million for the Argentine. 

However, with the Blaugrana set to open talks with the forward over a new contract that would keep him at the club until he's 36, they should be keeping hold of him. 

So how has it come to pass that he's just signed for IK Junkeren in the third tier of Norwegian football? 

Genuinely, Lionel Messi has put pen to paper - but he's going to have his work cut out to make it into the first team. 

The Scandinavian outfit have, in fact, procured a 16-year-old who has changed his name in honour of his biggest football idol.

Ah...Had you fooled there, didn't we? 

Originally named Daniel Are Knutsen, this young man has put himself under an awful lot of pressure to live up to the name. 

He's also adapted his playing style to try and emulate his hero. 

"I've had a plan to change my name for a while," he told Norwegian newspaper VG, via The Sun.

"Lionel Messi is my biggest idol and with my dedication to football, it was nothing more than to try.

"I want to say that I try as best as I can to play his way.

"It's possible to see some similarities, but my talent probably isn't as great."

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Probably not Daniel, no.

IK Junkeren might find, however, that there are suddenly a fair few more fans turning up to watch their under-16’s this season. 

First team manager Runar Bo Eriksen added: 

"I joked earlier that we have to look for Cristiano Ronaldo.

“[Messi] is going to play under-16 football first and foremost, but we hope he will eventually join the first team."

It's certainly one way for a youngster to make a name for himself. 

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