Grondona: Argentina could play at Newell's Old Boys ground on Messi's request

The president of the Argentina FA has admitted that the national team could play a competitive fixture at the former home the Ballon d'Or winner's first club if it is safe to do so
The president of the Argentina Football Association Julio Grondona has revealed that Argentina could play a World Cup qualifier at the home of Newell's Old Boys on Lionel Messi's request.

The Barcelona star began his career with the Rosario outfit, and he has asked if the national team could hold a competitive match at Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.

The stadium has a capacity of 40,000, but Grondona said that a match could only be played there if the ground meets the safety regulations that are in place.

"Messi asked if Newell's could host a knockout match. If the club meets the requirements, we will play there," he told Radio 10.

Grondona famously has a frosty relationship with Argentina legend Diego Maradona, but he admitted that Messi - the latest superstar to erupt from the South American continent - is the best player he has ever seen both on and off the field.

"I have never seen anyone like Messi, both as a player and a person," he added. "He really has his feet on the ground."

Grondona, who was re-elected as AFA president in 2011, also claimed that he would step down if he was permitted, but insisted that he would see out his term until 2015 and then allow others to take his place.

"If I didn't have to stay until 2015, I'd leave right now," the Fifa vice-president said.

"Young people will follow and the new generation will replace me. The AFA has enough resources to survive at least until 2022."