'New Messi' to snub Spain call?

LaLiga

Real Mallorca wonderkid Luka Romero, who has been dubbed the "new Lionel Messi", looks set to snub Spain in favour of representing Argentina on the international stage.

Romero shot to fame during the 2019/20 LaLiga season when he became the youngest player ever to feature in the competition, making his debut for Mallorca at the age of 15 years and 219 days during a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

The prodigy has since found himself at the centre of a three-way tug of war between Mexico (his country of birth), Argentina (home of his parents), and Spain (where he holds a passport) over his international allegiance. 

Romero has represented Argentina at youth level but Miguel Bestard, who is the president of the Management Commission of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), recently admitted that Spain had been in contact with him to discuss a switch in loyalties.

"I know that they [his family] want him to play for Argentina. It is an issue that has to be worked on, although we have the advantage that he is playing here [in Mallorca, Spain]," Bestard said, per AS.

Scroll through the gallery below for some images from Romero's debut for Mallorca last season

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However, according to the same publication, the teenage star is set to snub La Furia Roja after contacting the Argentina Football Association (AFA) to confirm he had not had a change of heart of his long term future.

This was confirmed by the co-ordinator of the AFA's youth teams, Bernardo Romeo, who stressed that the association was in constant contact with the promising attacking midfielder.

"We are very happy with his decision, he wants to play for Argentina. I am in contact with his father and with his representative, and Luka has told us that he is very happy with the Argentine national team," Romeo said.

"He participates in the Zoom sessions of the U17 national team directed by Pablo Aimar and we are in constant contact." 

Romero's decision to represent Argentina comes as a fresh blow to the RFEF, who had suffered a similar rebuffal by Messi during his formative years with FC Barcelona.

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