Erik Lamela: 'I was close to joining Barcelona'

Roma's Erik Lamela celebrates a goal against Milan on December 22, 2012
© AP Photos
Roma forward Erik Lamela reveals that he nearly joined Barcelona as a teenager.

Roma forward Erik Lamela has revealed that he came close to joining Barcelona as a youngster but has no regrets over picking the Italian giants.

Lamela has been in fine form at Roma this season, scoring 12 goals to help the club's fight for European qualification.

The 21-year-old's performances have led to calls for a place in the Argentina side, but he has insisted that international recognition will only come with focus on playing for Roma.

He told ESPN Radio in South America: "I was close to joining Barcelona, but I don't regret that, as I don't know what would've happened there.

"If I am to play for Argentina, then it's up to me, as I must continue performing well to get an opportunity.

"Fortunately things are going well for me. The key is to train consistently and put yourself on show with a great club side."

Lamela's sole cap for Argentina came in a friendly against Paraguay two years ago.

The Etihad Stadium
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