Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi almost joined him at Espanyol in 2005.
The Tottenham Hotspur manager is preparing his side to face Messi and Barca in the Champions League at Wembley on Wednesday.
But Argentine used to play for, and then managed, Barca's local rivals Espanyol - and he says Messi came very close to joining him in the summer of 2005.
Pochettino told Sky Sports: "I started to hear about him when I was a player at Espanyol. A small guy, playing in the academy in Barcelona.
"Then I heard he was so close to signing for Espanyol - very close - in the season Barcelona played against Juventus in the Joan Gamper (an annual pre-season tournament).
"I remember that summer. But, because he was so fantastic in the Joan Gamper, they changed their minds. They kept Messi at Barcelona.
"So, if you look back in history, maybe if he did not play in the Joan Gamper in that summer, maybe today he could have been the biggest star in Espanyol.
"Maybe I would still be at Espanyol managing him!"