Emiliano Buendia has a dream and that’s to play alongside Lionel Messi one day.
Of course, for the Argentina national team as revealed by the midfielder – who has been linked with a move to Arsenal – when playing against the Barcelona superstar in his Getafe days six years ago.
Despite being on the wrong end of a 6-0 thrashing, Buendia clearly did something to catch the eye of Messi who encouraged him to switch allegiances from Spain.
“I maybe did something good to impress him,” Buendia told the Guardian. “He 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’.”
Buendia still hasn’t fulfiled that dream, but it remains one of his goals after successfully helping Norwich seal an immediate return to the Premier League.
“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,” he added. “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.”
As well as Arsenal, the playmaker – who has weighed in with 14 goals and 16 assists in the Championship this season – has also been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.
However, Norwich boss Daniel Farke has delivered an update on Buendia – and it’s not exactly good news for the aforementioned interested parties.
“We have Emi on a long-term contract and it’s a joy to have him in the team,” Farke told reporters at a press conference. “The supporters love him and hopefully he can shine in the future for us.
“Emi has shown great mentality, he shook the speculation of last summer off. I don’t expect him to have the same issues at the start of next season.”
At 3pm today until 11:59pm on Monday, all sports channels across the entire Reach network, including football.london, will join the boycott of social media as part of the campaign against online hate.
So far this season players at all of the capital’s top-flight clubs have been subject to horrendous abuse – from Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Willian to Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reece James to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
No dressing room has been spared this disgusting plague. Enough is enough.
That is why the Premier League, FA, Kick It Out and Women’s Super League have been joined by clubs up and down the country as well as organisations from cricket, rugby, cycling and horse racing in staging the boycott. Above all they want the social media platforms to take more responsibility for keeping hate out of our sport.
As journalists this is not a decision we take lightly but we believe it is important that Reach titles add their voices to the calls for greater action against the epidemic of online hate and be a force for good in the communities we serve.
As the nation’s biggest sports publisher we will of course continue to create the outstanding sports content – from Premier League to local matches – for which we are famous. We just won’t be sharing this content on social over the weekend.
Our news accounts will also continue to share the biggest breaking news this weekend, including covering the impact of this boycott.
Farke’s comments suggests Norwich’s stance on Buendia is that they are not willing to sell.
Although, according to Mail Online, the Canaries could change their mind if the £40million price tag they have reportedly slapped on their prized asset’s head is matched.
With that said, Arsenal’s first-choice creative midfield option this summer is Martin Odegaard whose loan spell from Real Madrid ends when the season finishes.