Both the Albiceleste captain and Neymar did their bit in bringing the midfielder to Camp Nou, despite doubts over whether he would make the grade
Paulinho has revealed that Lionel Messi asked him to join Barcelona while the pair were battling against each other in an Argentina-Brazil clash.
The former Corinthians and Tottenham player was a surprise signing for the Catalans over the summer.
But he has made an instant impact since moving from Guangzhou, slotting effortlessly into the Barca midfield and netting three Liga goals to date to endear himself to the Camp Nou faithful.
According to the player, it was in an international friendly between the two South American giants where the transfer was first discussed.
“It was in the friendly in Australia. I had a free-kick, me and Willian were standing over the ball,” Paulinho recalled to Globoesporte.
“I was over the ball just to stand there, Willian was going to take it. Messi was far away. When Willian took aim I stepped back, he came over and said, ‘Let’s go to Barcelona’.
“I heard him and said, ‘If you want to take me there, I’m going.’ I mean, he is the best in the world and you hear words like that, it makes you happy, it makes you feel confident.
“Whatever the circumstances, playing alongside the best in the world is something I can tell my kids about. At that point I almost fell flat on my face but I kept playing!”
Despite the fact that he moved to Paris Saint-Germain, Paulinho revealed that…