Brazil midfielder Paulinho left almost everyone shocked when it was reported that Barcelona were interested in signing him.
After a failed stint at Tottenham and a move to China, it seemed like the Brazilian was done with top flight European football. But he's now playing alongside some of the best players in the world, in one of the best teams in the world.
Speaking in an interview with El Periodico, Paulinho revealed that it was none other than Barca star Lionel Messi who asked him to join him in Spain while he was getting ready to take a free kick during a match between Brazil and Argentina.
"I was getting ready to take a free-kick in a game between Brazil and Argentina," Paulinho said (H/T FourFourTwo).
"Suddenly, I saw Messi behind me getting closer bit by bit, and he says 'are we going to Barcelona or not?' I said, ‘if you want to bring me there, you can. I'll go.
"I was so nervous I told Willian, 'you take the free-kick'. After that match, I exchanged shirts with Messi. He didn't let me take the free-kick, but I'm here."
Paulinho completed a £40m move from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao following his surprise chat with Messi, and neither party seems to have regretted it just yet.