Lionel Messi is ready to dispel the myth he couldn’t hack it on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke, Paddy Power News understands.
The Argentine ace is currently considering an offer from the Staffordshire outfit following his shock departure from Barcelona last night.
It has often been debated whether the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would be able to perform on a cold and drizzly evening in Stoke like he does every week in La Liga and the Champions League for Barca.
Now, with the diminutive playmaker mulling over the Championship side’s proposal, it appears the argument could finally be settled.
However, PP News understands the deal hinges on Stoke reappointing Tony Pulis as boss with Messi said to be a huge admirer of the Welshman’s style of play.
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“I’ve won 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues but I’d swap it all to win just one flick-on from a Rory Delap long throw,” Messi said.
“Barca players such as Xavi and Iniesta would use illegal streams during coach journeys to watch Stoke games when Tony Pulis was in charge. I always said to myself ‘one day Leo, you will play for this football genius’.
“Bojan Krkic tells me wonderful things about Stoke and was an avid collector of pottery during his time there.
“His selection of Royal Doulton was particularly impressive.
“To pull on the red and white stripes of Stoke City on a cold November evening when it’s p*ssing down with rain would be a dream come true.”
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While there are plenty who believe the six-time European Golden Shoe winner would hold his own in England’s second tier, former England defender Danny Mills is not one of them.
“Messi in the Championship? The jury’s out on this one for me,” Mills said. “Can I see him terrorising Barnsley and Bristol City the way he did with Real Madrid and Atletico? Nah.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent signing who’ll give Michael O’Neill another option in attack.
“But first of all he’s got a fight on his hands just to get in the side. I can’t see Tyrese Campbell giving up that No. 10 jersey easily.”
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