• Lionel Messi was associated with Barcelona from 2003 to 2021
  • He joined PSG as a free agent in the 2021 summer
  • Messi has netted 12 goals and 14 assists for PSG this term

Lionel Messi reveals he and many other FC Barcelona players had requested Luis Enrique to remain at the club after the Spanish coach decided to resign.

Enrique managed Barcelona from 2014 to 2017 and under him, the Catalans won two straight La Liga titles (2014-15 and 2015-16) and the Champions League in 2014-15, which remains their last top European title as yet.

"I came back from Argentina after the holidays and we played on January 2 or 3, I don't remember exactly, and I ended up going to the bench and we had an argument that lasted a little bit. But then we had a spectacular relationship right until the end when he decided to leave and we told him to stay, not to go, that we were fine," Messi admitted in an interview with former Real Madrid and Argentina great Jorge Valdano.

In his first season in charge of Barcelona, Enrique won a treble – La Liga, Champions League and Copa de Rey. He won a double (La Liga and Copa del Rey) in his second season and the Copa del Rey in his final year.

After stepping down as Barcelona's head coach, Enrique took a year's break before taking up the charge of Spain, his national team, in 2018.

After being associated with Barcelona for nearly two decades, Messi parted ways with the club in the summer of 2021. The Argentinian forward joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as a free agent. Following a slow start to his new life in Paris, Messi had a fine start to the 2022-23 season. He netted 12 goals and provided 14 assists before the international break for FIFA World Cup began.

Barcelona, Luis Enrique, Sergi Roberto
Luis Enrique was Barcelona's head coach for three seasons Reuters

Messi could come up against Enrique's Spain in the World Cup, which will begin Sunday in Qatar. Since Spain and Argentina are not in the same group, their meeting is possible only in the knockout rounds.

Spain are in Group E, along with Costa Rica, 2014 champions Germany and Japan. Argentina are in Group C along with Poland, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.