AC Milan legend and former technical director Paolo Maldini has disclosed that the club made a concerted effort to bring Lionel Messi to the Rossoneri in 2021
Despite Milan’s ambitious pursuit, Messi eventually chose to join French giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) two summers ago, marking an emotional departure from his longtime club, Barcelona.
The Argentine maestro spent a brief two seasons with PSG before making headlines once again by signing with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami this summer.
“For 10 days we tried to bring Messi to Milan, but then we realized it was impossible,” Maldini revealed.
I am seeing some people downplaying maldini on my timeline— MAK (@kaka_brasil22) November 22, 2023
These kids need to learn who the greatest defender of all time is 🐐 pic.twitter.com/vqDecNqats
Maldini expressed his admiration for Messi, stating, “A player like Messi is a spectacle for anyone to witness.” However, he humorously added, “When I read that he might even go to Inter, I got scared!”
🇪🇸 Xabi Alonso shows you how Lionel Messi would operate in a false nine role and how hard it was to defend against the Argentinian. pic.twitter.com/ka8WD9zEbX— The Coaches' Voice (@CoachesVoice) May 27, 2019
While Milan failed in their mission to lure Messi to Serie A this summer, the football icon was reportedly targeted by Saudi Arabian clubs and Barcelona. Ultimately, Messi opted to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami, a move that surprised many, especially amid speculations of a potential switch to the Saudi Pro League following in the footsteps of his old rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since joining Miami, Messi played a pivotal role in helping the club secure the Leagues Cup, marking the franchise’s first-ever trophy. However, despite individual success, Messi and his team faced challenges, failing to reach the MLS playoffs after a challenging start to the season.
The revelation comes at a time when AC Milan is navigating a transitional period, with Maldini being sacked in June after the team advanced to the UEFA Champions League semifinals. As of now, AC Milan sits in third place in Serie A, trailing crosstown rivals Inter Milan by eight points after 12 matches this season.