SPAIN midfielder Dani Olmo has revealed he was forced “against his will” before he joined Barcelona juniors to pose for a photo with Lionel Messi.
RB Leipzig star Olmo also cried when joining the Spanish giants a year later, aged nine, as he “wanted to stay with my friends at Espanyol”.
The 22-year-old admits not many kids or players would want to snub a picture opportunity with one-club Nou Camp legend Messi.
He told The Players Tribune: “Once, before even joining La Masia, I accompanied my father while he was directing a game in Castelldefels.
“I was eight. I was playing alone and happy, when someone – I think it was a friend of dad’s – approached me and said, ‘Hey, Dani, come here! You won’t believe it. You can take a picture with Lionel Messi!’
“Wow, Messi, right? In Castelldefels? What kid wouldn’t want a picture with him? Well me!
“I said something like, “No thanks. I’m fine. I want to keep playing! It’s just a picture, right?’
“But against my will they put me next to Messi and took the photo.”
And Olmo seemed even more unhappy – when he finally made what he might have later considered a dream move.
He said: “I was nine years old and wanted to stay with my friends at Espanyol.
“But my father made the decision and I have to say that he finally knew what was best for me.”
Olmo, though, now sees something different, having surprised many by leaving Barca for Dinamo Zagreb in 2015.
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
The 11-cap ace said: “I have many incredible memories of La Masia and the club will always have a special place in my heart.
“It was a privilege to have played there.
“It is a reference point for the rest of the football world and any child would give anything to play there, where so many greats have come and learned the trade.”