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Barcelona initially unconvinced that Leo Messi would succeed as a pro

"Editor's note: The following is an exclusive extract from Graham Hunter's new book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World. Rosario, Argentina, 2000. Leo Messi is 12 years old and, although coveted by both Newell's Old Boys and River Plate, neither club can afford the approximate $1000 per month across two years for the growth hormone treatment that will correct a deficiency and allow him to reach his natural height at a normal rate of growth. His father, Jorge Messi, had persuaded his employers and another local business to sponsor the initial cost of treatment, but that, too, has become unsustainable."

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