LIONEL MESSI asked Emi Buendia what country he wants to play for, the Norwich star has revealed.
The midfielder has had a season to remember, scoring 14 goals and assisting 17 on the way to winning Norwich player of the year – with the Canaries also being crowned Championship winners on Saturday.
And his form has captured the attention of Barcelona superstar Messi, who spoke to Buendia about his international commitment, the 24-year-old told The Guardian.
He said: "I maybe did something good to impress him.
"He [Messi] asked: ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to play for Spain or Argentina?’ Quickly I said: ‘Of course I want to play for Argentina. I want to play with you – it is a dream.’
"The target this year was to be back in the Premier League, so that one is achieved, but everyone wants to play for his national team.
"It would be something very special for me. I work every day to try to be better and to try to get this chance to represent my country."
Buendia has only been fortunate enough to represent Argentina at Under-20s level, despite first being called up by Spain U19s.
It is not surprising that Messi is keen for Buendia to play for La Albiceleste, as he has had a brilliant season.
He is the key creative spark for Norwich and has supplied so many goals for Teemu Pukki, who often grabs the headlines.
Buendia was asked about the pair's relationsip on the pitch, and whether he could pick out Pukki with his eyes closed:
He added: "Yes, sometimes without looking at him, I try to know every time where he is.
"I think we are playing for years, in my case, together with some players. I know how it works with everyone. For example my connection with Teemu is something special.
"When I have the ball, I just know he is running in behind to get the ball. Also with Maxi [Max Aarons] on the right wing.
"Those connections can make the difference in games."
Buendia is also confident that Norwich will make a better fist of the Premier League next season, after being relegated in 2019-20.
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He points out the greater experience in the side that exists now, explaining that the squad knows each other's games really well after playing together for several years.
He added: "The experience in this squad means a lot and now with this team and these players, we have played a few years together so everyone knows everyone.
"This is very good. I think the structure and the project, looking forward it will be good to do it properly next year."
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