Until recently, Lionel Messi had struggled to win over fans from Argentina.
His initial inability to replicate his Barcelona exploits for the national team invited criticism.
But it was mainly a sense of suspicion that Messi was more Spanish than Argentine that left the Albiceleste faithful reticent to worship him like Catalonia does.
La Pulga Atomica left Argentina as a boy, in search of the expensive medicine to help him grow.
Since then he has become a naturalised Spaniard, and was offered the chance to play for La Furia Roja.
Yet even though he is an icon in Barcelona, Messi has always insisted his heart remains in Rosario, Argentina.
As captain of the Argentine national team Messi has worn his patriotism on his sleeve, and made his countryman proud of his genius, which is also a part of them.
He may have committed the best years of his stellar career to the Blaugrana on Thursday, inking a deal that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2018.
And he may frequently play at his devastating best in Barca’s colours.
But Messi has indicated that there is a chance his playing days will come to an end where they began.
"I said it before - in Europe I'd like to end my career at Barca. I wouldn't consider moving to another European club," the four-time Ballon d’Or winner told Barca's website after his contract extension was announced.
"With that said, I'm not ruling out ending my playing career in Argentina.”
Thinking about Messi playing anywhere other than Barca in Europe is fruitless pursuit however.
The Blaugrana clearly have no intention of ever selling the 25-year-old phenomenon, whose buyout clause is a reported €250 million: €10 million for every year of his life so far.