​Lionel Messi made his debut for the Argentinean u-20 national football team on June 29, 2004 but things could have been incredibly different as he had the chance to represent the Spanish national team instead.


Ahead of the 2003 Under-17 World Cup held in Finland, the Spanish Football Federation had attempted to convince the then  ​Barcelona prodigy to be a part of their travelling squad.


​Marca report that while Spain would reach the final with Cesc Fabregas leading the team, Messi and his father were always completely clear in their view that the Barcelona maestro wanted to represent Argentina, the country of his birth. 




Messi's remained true to his decision despite him not being picked up by Hugo Tocalli to the U-17 World Cup that year.


The report goes on to reveal that Spain continued to try and tempt Messi, yet Jorge Messi, his father, took advantage of Marcelo Bielsa's visit to Catalonia to try and convince him the future footballing legend was ready for the Argentine national team. 


Bielsa then had a look at Messi's videos and was left spellbound to the extent of then handing the Barcelona hitman his international debut for Argentina just at the age of 17, in which he wore the number 17 shirt and the rest, as they say, is history!