For the first time in many years since he arrived in Catalonia the Spaniard who now plays with the RB Leipzig in Germany, saw Argentina, which he says was an unpleasant encounter he had sought initially to escape.

Olmo entered the popular La Masia Academy in Barca in 2007 and spent seven years at Camp Nou before joining Dinamo in Zagreb, three seasones after Messi had made his first team debut in the club.

The Spaniard opened the door when he first met Dani Olmo, six time winner of the Ballon d’Or, who attempted to deny Lionel Messi a photo during his childhood and insisted that he was put against his will next to Barcelona star.

SO, WHAT HAS BEEN SAID?

“I ACCOMPANIED MY FATHER ONCE BEFORE I EVEN JOINED LA MASIA WHEN HE WAS MANAGING A GAME AT CASTELLDEFELS,”

 Olmo said in an interview with The Players Tribune.

“I was eight years old at the time. I was happily playing with a ball by myself when someone  I assume it was a friend of my father’s came over and said, ‘Hey, Dani, come here!’ You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you. You’re going to have a photo of Lionel Messi!’

“Messi had evidently come down to see a friend who was playing in the Castelldefels contest. Messi, are you kidding me? Are you in Castelldefels? What kid wouldn’t want a selfie of him?

“Well, it’s me! ‘No, thanks,’ I said. I’m fine. I’d like to keep playing! Isn’t it just a picture?’

“HOWEVER, AGAINST MY WILL, THEY POSITIONED ME NEXT TO MESSI AND TOOK THE PICTURE. I DIDN’T EVEN UTTER A WORD TO HIM. I JUST WAITED FOR THE CLICK AND THEN RETURNED TO MY BALL, AS IF I WAS DOING HIM A FAVOUR.”

“IN THE END, I HAVE TO ADMIT I’M HAPPY THEY PUSHED ME BECAUSE I STILL HAVE THE PHOTO FRAMED AT HOME,” THE FORMER BARCELONA MIDFIELDER SAID. BUT, AT THE MOMENT, I WASN’T THRILLED TO SEE MY PRECIOUS GAME TIME CUT SHORT — EXCEPT BY AN ICON.”

THE CAREER OF OLMO AFTER BARCA:

In 2014 Olmo left Camp Nou without a first-team debut, but his training experience with a host of stars has allowed him to reach the stage with Dinamo.

The 22-year-old soon played in the Croatian club, helping them to win the Champions’ League group stage and five consecutive league titles.

Until Leipzig came and called in January 2020 Olmo was strongly associated with the move to Barca, linking the playmaker to a bumper four-year contract.

Since then, he has added nine goals and 12 assists with the 53 appearances of the Bundesliga outfit and has won regular place in the Spanish national team.

WHAT HAS MESSI ACCOMPLISHED AT BARCELONA?

Messi had just begun to establish himself as one of the world’s top players when he met Olmo, having arrived at Camp Nou as a 16-year-old in 2014.

Today, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is generally regarded as the greatest footballer in history, having won 34 titles and been Barcelona’s all-time top goal scorer.

Messi has 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles to his credit, and the 33-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down in 2020-21 when the Blaugrana go for a domestic double.

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