Ex-Como president says he missed out on Messi
Genoa president Enrico Preziosi claims he had the chance to sign Lionel Messi during his time with Como.
Preziosi was at Como as they were promoted from Serie C to Serie A, but he left for Genoa in 2003 after their relegation from the top-flight and they are now back in the third tier.
Yet while Preziosi admits the players signed during his tenure at Como were often sub-standard, he has now revealed he was told not to bring a young Messi to the club.
"I was told, 'You can take him home for $50,000' but the directors blocked the operation," Preziosi told Corriere dello Sport. "At the time, every player that I signed for Como wasn't very good. There is a definite regret. If I had only gone with my instinct."
Messi, 22, joined Barcelona from Newell's Old Boys in 2000 after the club offered to pay for his treatment for a growth deficiency problem.