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Paulinho: That's how crazy Messi lured me to Barcelona

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Now the Brazilian told The Players Tribune the crazy story of how his Barça transfer came about. A certain Lionel Messi played a key role ...

It all started in June last year when Brazil played a friendly against Argentina. “Messi came up to me. We'd just taken a free kick and I was standing with Willian and another player. I didn't want to take the free kick, I just stood there as a distraction. Suddenly Messi walks up to me, looks me in the eye and says: ‘So ... are we going to Barcelona or not?‘", Paulinho wrote:" That was it. No explanation, nothing. He just turned and left. I haven't even had time to think about it. I just said: ‘If you want me to come with you, I'll do it‘. "

From this moment it was very difficult for the central midfielder to concentrate, as he himself reported: “All I could think of was, is he serious? Why did he say that? Oh my god, what is happening now? "

At first he thought that maybe Messi was just kidding. After the final whistle, however, the bizarre story continues. “After the game, I gave my jersey to someone from security and asked them to give it to Messi. A little later he came back from the Argentine cabin with Messi's shirt for me. Again I wondered if that could really be true, ”said the 29-year-old.

But then calm returned. Paulinho turned to Guangzhou Evergrande back and heard nothing for a long time. A whole month passed before rumors got louder that the glorious Barcelona were interested in him. Paulinho: “I called my advisor and asked:‘ Boss, for God's sake, I'm going crazy! Please tell me whether the rumors are true or not! ‘” His advisor informed him that it was complicated. He then wrote to Neymar, who was still in Barcelona at the time, whether he knew more. But Neymar was busy moving to PSG himself and wasn't sure.

More and more time passed and Paulinho already thought it was over. But then his advisor called at four o'clock in the morning. "The deal is perfect. You have to come to Barcelona and sign the contract. To be honest, I didn't believe it, ”he said. In the car to the airport it came back to him: "I looked out the window and just thought: Messi!"

Source: sportbild.bild.de