How Arsenal Missed the Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Sign Lionel Messi

The Argentine recently shocked the football world by leaving FC Barcelona after 21 years and joining Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. However, things could have turned out quite differently. Moreover, Barcelona may have held onto the six-time Ballon d'Or winner for 21 years, but it was no secret that other clubs were interested in signing the talismanic winger. Arsenal was one of the sides that tried to snare the Argentine.

Further, then-manager Arsene Wenger revealed how close the North Londoners came to signing Messi and why he didn't sign, in a news conference in 2014.“It's correct. In the end, he felt apprehensive about moving.” 

Moreover, Arsenal had targeted Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, and Gerard Pique, according to Wenger. “It was during a time when Fabregas was brought in since Fabregas and Messi were teammates in the same team.

In addition, only Fabregas, a Spanish midfielder, was able to join Arsenal from Barcelona. While Fabregas had a significant impact on the team, one can only think how transformative Messi's arrival would have been. Additionally, Wenger revealed that Messi was not the only player he wanted to sign. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure, and Cristiano Ronaldo were all connected to Arsenal at some point throughout their careers.

Moreover, the French manager, on the other hand, had a keen eye for world-class talent. Arsenal could have had one of the best teams ever if his what-if decisions had come to fruition.