Former AC Milan, Roma and Juventus manager Fabio Capello has declared that he attempted to sign Lionel Messi during his experience with the Old Lady.

Capello enrolled Juventus as the club’s manager in the summer of 2004 and left the Bianconeri in the summer of 2006 to sign for Real Madrid, where he spent just a single season.

In his recent interview with Sky Sports, he spoke concerning his first introduction to Lionel Messi during his initial days at Barcelona.

He said: ​”There are categories and he, Maradona and Pelé fall into that of geniuses, those who invent things that others can’t even think of. They are not built, there have it in their DNA. I met Messi for the first time at the Gamper Trophy, we played Juve-Barcelona. There were 90,000 spectators and he was 16.

“I approached Rijkaard after 15-20 minutes and asked him: ‘Listen, can you loan him to me for a year? ‘He was 16, he came in and sent everyone into raptures. It didn’t take Fabio Capello to understand that he was a genius

“What did Rijkaard say to me? I knew that they already had three foreigners and could not put the fourth foreigner on the list and he said ‘Fabio don’t worry, there are no problems we will somehow manage to play him’. The Catalans also had their intrigues. Even then Messi was impressive “.

Fabio Capello also spake about the upcoming Derby d’Italia, which he said to be won: “In midfield,

Inter Milan and Juventus both continue their Serie A unbeaten run, going into the Sunday’s Derby d’Italia showdown at San Siro, and Capello had his say on the fixture.

The 73-year-old said: “It’ll be an interesting game for both teams, Juventus will be without Chiellini against a team who come forward with great pace, while the Nerazzurri will have to show the same character they’ve showed so far.

“So far, Inter hasn’t faced any great teams: they had the derby, but the Milan of today isn’t a team who create so many problems. The match will be decided in midfield.”

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