The legendary Frenchman proved he was close to joining the former Real Madrid superstar and attempted to prise Messi from Barca at the same time he brought Cesc Fabregas to north London.
Wenger revealed Messi, who broke into Barcelona’s first team as a 16-year-old, was already too well placed in Frank Rijkaard’s side, but Wenger would have loved to have harnessed the ability of the record-breaking Argentine alongside Ronaldo.
‘True,’ he said when questioned by beIN Sports presenter Richard Keys whether or not he almost joined Ronaldo before he signed Manchester United.
Wenger added: ‘We tried, but we were not near to signing Messi. We decided to sign Pique, Fabregas and with Messi, we had already tried.
‘But already he was too big at the time. Don’t forget 2006 when we played the Champions League final against Barcelona Messi couldn’t play because he was injured.
‘He’s today 32, and that’s 13 years ago, and he was already a regular player in the first team. What these guys have done is unbelievable.’
As to whether they could’ve played together at the Gunners at a time when the Gunners also boasted the likes of Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, he said: ‘That’s real fantasy football I must say.