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Newell's Old Boys step up campaign to bring Lionel Messi back to Argentina

Supporters of Newell's Old Boys have stepped up their campaign to bring Lionel Messi home by lavishing him with praise using a banner during Sunday's 1-0 home win against Tigre.

Messi spent his formative years at the club, which is based in his hometown of Rosario, before joining Barcelona in 2001.

However, Newell's have never given up hope of seeing him back in red and black and are stepping up the charm offensive as he heads toward 30.

The banner read: "Messi, your dreams are our hopes. Newell's support you and are waiting for you."

Argentina international Messi has said on several occasions that it's his dream to end his career back at his childhood club.

Most recently, he told Telefe's Polemica en el Bar: "I would love to [return]. It is something I have kept an eye on because it was my dream as a child. 

"I want to play in Argentine football and for Newell's, where I grew up."

Newell's, meanwhile, believe they're not too far away from luring Messi back to Argentina, and vice president Cristian D'Amico is already looking forward to the success it would bring.

"I am convinced, like many of my peers, we can make history as a club if we get the best player in the world in a Newell's shirt," he said

"I think we're going to get the pleasure of Messi wearing the shirt. It would be revolutionary."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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