Messi's father rubbishes Real Madrid tale

It has long been suggested that the Argentine star could have ended up at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to signing for Barcelona as a teenager

Lionel Messi's father has ended suggestions his son could have joined Real Madrid as a youngster.

The forward has become a Barcelona icon since signing for the club as a 13-year-old, though it has long been rumored that he may have made the switch to los Blancos, had the Blaugrana not swiftly secured his signature.

But in an interview with Kicker, Messi's father, Jorge, has closed that tale and says his son only ever wanted to play at Camp Nou - even if his first contract was signed on a paper napkin.

"It is the most famous napkin I ever saw. Barca demanded to be told what was happening because I was uncertain with my work. Leo had only a certain license in school and could not miss anything, and we knew nothing more than Barca," Jorge Messi said.

"We had to fix a lot of things so they demanded to be told something, otherwise everything was cut."

The 25-year-old has since gone on to lift the Ballon d'Or four times and Jorge admits he cannot bring himself to imagine the day that Messi hangs up his boots.

"The day Leo stops playing, I will think of it as an illusion and I will not come back to football," he said. "I love football more than anything. I don’t want to think about the day that Leo will stop playing.”