The former Barcelona striker has claimed that he had an okay relationship with the Argentine, and has revealed he almost joined Real Madrid.

David Villa has insisted that he never had any issues with Lionel Messi whilst at Barcelona, following constant rumours that he left Camp Nou because of the Argentine forward.

The Spain international ended a three-year stint in the Catalan capital this summer to complete a transfer to Atletico Madrid.

And despite stories circulating that the 31-year-old didn’t get on with Messi, the former Valencia forward has reiterated that their relationship was fine.

‘I have always gotten along well with all the teammates that I have had,’ Villa said on Al Primer Toque.

‘I am sure there are pictures of me on other teams arguing about something with a teammate. These are images that I do not like but are part of football It is too bad for his injury and for a footballer it is the worst thing, having to fight against an injury.’

The striker reflected on his time at Barcelona and revealed how he’d previously come close to leaving Valencia in 2009.

‘I’ve been pretty close to signing for several teams through my career since leaving Sporting Gijon. The summer of 2009 I was very close to signing for Real Madrid as well as Barcelona. With Pep Guardiola I learned things to work at Barcelona that I did not have in my game.

‘For example, I had always been a pure number 9 with little defensive work. With Guardiola, I learned to combine, to play on the wing and to do things that helped me to be a different player and allow me to play in another position.’

Villa is currently part of the Atletico Madrid side that is second in La Liga only three points behind unbeaten Barca.

‘Atletico Madrid today are an example not only in Spain but also in Europe. They have exceeded all my expectations.’

image: © Jason Bagley