Lionel Messi signs for Norwegian third division club


A Norwegian third-tier side have signed Lionel Messi... but there's no need for Barcelona fans to worry.

Formerly known as Daniel Are Knutsen, the 16-year-old admires the Argentina international so much that he changed his name to honour his idol.

Junkeren, a side from the north of Norway, announced the signing of the younger Messi this week – and the club hope that the teenager shares more than just a name with the Barcelona legend.

"I've had a plan to change my name for a while, and Lionel Messi is my biggest idol. With my dedication to football, it was nothing more than to try," the youngster told VG (opens in new tab).

"I want to say that I try as best as I can to play his way. It's possible to see some similarities, but my talent probably isn't as great."

Junkeren's general manager, Runar Bo Eriksen, has suggested that his club are not done in the transfer market just yet.

"I joked earlier that we have to look for Cristiano Ronaldo," he said. "[Messi] is going to play under-16 football first and foremost, but we hope he will eventually join the first team."

In Catalonia, meanwhile, Barcelona's Messi has returned to training and could feature in Sunday's clash with Real Betis.


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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).