Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims that he turned down the chance to sign Robinho.

The Brazilian joined Real Madrid in the summer, but arch rivals Barca claim they could have signed him but turned him down.

“Robinho wanted to come to Barcelona, but we were never interested,” Laporta stated.

“We already have Messi and we have a lot of hope placed in him.

“He is only 18 but he controls the ball like no-one else.

“He has the style of both players (Cruyff and Maradona) and he can become a global star, for that reason I prefer Messi (to Robinho).”