SPAIN midfielder Dani Olmo has revealed he was forced ‘against his will’ to pose for a photo with Lionel Messi before he joined Barcelona juniors.
Dani Olmo now cherishes the memory of his junior days with BarcelonaCredit: Rex
Most people would crave the chance of a photo with Lionel Messi but as an eight-year-old Dani Olmo thought differentlyCredit: Getty
The 22-year-old admits not many kids or players would want to snub a picture opportunity with one-club Nou Camp legend Messi.
But he was an independent thinker.
Olmos told The Players Tribune: “Once, before even joining La Masia, I accompanied my father while he was directing a game in Castelldefels.
“I was eight. I was playing alone and happy, when someone – I think it was a friend of dad’s – approached me and said, ‘Hey, Dani, come here! You won’t believe it. You can take a picture with Lionel Messi!’
“Wow, Messi, right? In Castelldefels? What kid wouldn’t want a picture with him? Well, me!
“I said something like, “No thanks. I’m fine. I want to keep playing! It’s just a picture, right?’
“But against my will they put me next to Messi and took the photo.”
And Olmo was even more unhappy – when he finally made what might have seemed a dream move in signing for Barca.
He said: “I was nine years old and wanted to stay with my friends at Espanyol.
“But my father made the decision and I have to say that he finally knew what was best for me.”
Olmo, though, now sees something different, having surprised many by leaving Barca for Dinamo Zagreb in 2015.
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The 11-cap ace said: “I have many incredible memories of La Masia and the club will always have a special place in my heart.
“It was a privilege to have played there.
“It is a reference point for the rest of the football world and any child would give anything to play there, where so many greats have come and learned the trade.”