TURNS out Harry Redknapp wasn’t the only person who thought international superstar Lionel Messi looks like a bit of a runt – he was turned down as a youngster for being too small.
Ahead of his man-of-the-match showing in the Champions League final, the Spurs manager said: “He’s a skinny runt who looks nothing like a modern-day footballer really.
“He has funny little legs that move awkwardly when he runs and if he turned up at your club as a 16-year-old, you’d send him away with a pat on the head and tell him he’d no chance of making it.”
Looks like that off-the-cuff remark was actually close to the truth – as a hormonal problem threatened to stunt his growth and stop his footballing career at River Plate in Argentina.
Luckily Barcelona took the chance and signed him up aged 13 and agreed to pay his medical bills.
Messi said: “I was told I would never be a footballer.
“But being smaller forced me to be faster. Disbelievers, critics and naysayers made me more determined than ever.
“With the support of my family I moved to Spain with the chance to play for Barça.
“It was an opportunity to be the player that I always dreamed I could be.”