Ever since he made his professional debut with FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi became an idol all across his native Argentina, with fans of Newell's Old Boys taking pride in such a talented player coming out of their ranks.
Messi has always flirted with the idea of playing on his homeland for the club that gave him a chance to prove his worth, and Newell's supporters dream of the day he'll finally come back home.
However, Messi recently shut down the door on any potential move to Argentina because of the political and social turmoil the country's been living in for decades, claiming his family will always be his priority:
"I always say that I don't want to leave here, I have no thoughts of moving. I have the dream of being able to play for Newell's in Argentina, but I don't know if it's really going to happen because I have a family that is ahead of my desire. It's a dream I've had since I was little, but I have a family, I have three children, I live in a place that has given me everything and where I am calm and can give my children a spectacular future.
We think much more about that than my desire of playing football in Argentina. I will try to convince the family because today we have to convince the children too. I would like to have played in Argentine football in general," Messi told TyC Sports.
Moreover, Messi went on to describe the way Argentineans feel and live soccer, lauding their passion but showing some concern about how that 'daily madness' has found its way into soccer as well:
"I always went to the stadium with my old man, the crowd was impressive. Besides, playing in one of those Clasicos must be terrible. It's more or less the same [as in Spain], but people live it differently. On a sporting level, the match is the same, but people in Argentina are crazier about that issue. Not winning the Clasico means a lot. Here you want to win but, if you lose, nothing happens. There, you can't leave your house if you lose.
All of the Clasicos are the same: in Rosario, in Cordoba, River-Boca, Independiente-Racing. In general, people live it that way. The daily madness is carried into soccer and it's a disaster. We go through qualifying (with the national team), although that's something else. We had to go all over South America and it is also brave, they do not let you sleep, they spend the night throwing things at you all in the hotels. (Copa) Libertadores matches must be much worse still," he concluded.
Sadly, it looks like Newell's Old Boys fans will never have the chance to see their biggest idol wear their jersey, but hey, you never know what the future holds.