Messi reveals that Argentina were the only national team he ever considered representing, despite his many years in Spain...
'La Pulga' moved across the Atlantic Ocean at the age of just 13 to join the Barcelona youth set up after the club offered to pay the costs of treating the Rosario native's growth hormone deficiencies, and also possesses a Spanish passport.
Despite his strong ties to Spain however, the 23-year-old superstar insisted that he was 100 per cent Argentine, and could never have pulled on a different national team shirt.
"I would have never chosen to play for Spain because I am Argentine. It is true that in Spain I have been treated very well, but let's not forget that I have been living almost the same amount of time in Barcelona as in Argentina and that splits your heart in two," Messi confided in an interview with TyC Sports.
"That however can never change your colours."
The Argentine playmaker went on to discuss the furore unleashed by the decision not to pick him against Costa Rica, which angered followers and officials in the Central American nation.
"I want to make it clear: there was no pressure of any kind from Barcelona, what came out was the truth. Because of a slight muscle pull I couldn't play and I can't see why there would be so much uproar about that," Messi clarified.
The current FIFA Ballon d'Or holder will next be in action on Wednesday evening, when Barcelona take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League quarter-final.