Barcelona forward Lionel Messi said there was the possibility that he could have been a River Plate player when he was younger.
Messi is in Japan as Barcelona prepare to face Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup.
Barca are favourites to go through to the final, where they could face South American champions River Plate.
And Messi admitted he could have been on the books of River as a youngster after having a trial at the Estadio Monumental in August of 2000.
“Yes, but that’s a very long time ago now,” he told FIFA.com.
“In the end it didn’t happen, but it is true that the possibility did come about, when I was very young.”
The Argentina international has only come up against a club from his homeland once in his professional career – in 2009 when Barca defeated Estudiantes 2-1 in the final of the Club World Cup.
On playing an Argentinean club, Messi said: “It’s a strange feeling. In my whole career I’ve only played against an Argentinian club once, and it was that final against Estudiantes.
“It was a very tough game, one in which we were losing for a long period and managed to equalise right on full time, before going on to win it in extra time.
“But it’s also something that motivates me, because River are a big club on a global scale. I think that if we play against them it’ll be a good match.”