Five-time Ballon d’Or winning superstar Lionel Messi has ruled out ever leaving Barcelona for another European club, but suggested that he would like to finish his playing career back in his native Argentina.
The forward, who is preparing for his fourth World Cup next month, also admitted in a long interview with television programme ‘Pasión por el fútbol’ that he never considered representing the Spain national team instead of Argentina.
A one-club man since joining Barcelona as a 13-year-old, Messi has on occasion been tentatively linked with moves away from Camp Nou, although no reports have ever been credible. Speaking about his future, Messu categorically ruled out switching to another European club, calling Barça, “my only place.”
However, as he has often suggested in the past, Messi did admit he would like to return to Argentina ‘some day’.
He revealed (via Sport): “I always said that I want to play some day in Argentine football, I do not know if it will happen, but I have it in mind. I’d like to live that for at least six months, but you never know what’s going to happen.“
Messi left Newell’s Old Boys as a teenager for Catalonia, where he has won everything it is possible to win, but has frequently spoken of his childhood dream to return to his first club someday.
“The desire is always playing for Newell’s, it is what I dreamed as a kid,” Messi told TyC Sports (via Sky Sports) last year. “When I went to the club I imagined playing in the Primera Division, but I do not know what’s going to happen in a few years.”
With Argentina’s first group game against Iceland in Russia but weeks away, Messi also spoke about his international career – which has seen him reach the World Cup final in 2014 but never lift a major trophy – and whether he might’ve been a part of the all-conquering Spain side of the last decade instead.
The Argentina talisman, despite winning the Golden Ball in Brazil four years ago, has had his detractors at international level, with some refusing to equate him with all-time greats Diego Maradona and Pele until he lifts the Jules Rimet trophy.
Messi said: “The other day I was talking to a friend and he was saying, ‘Look, if you had stayed with Spain, you would be world champion.’
“But it would not have been the same, obviously it never crossed my mind. [Winning with] Argentina would be something unique.”
Argentina face debutants Iceland on June 16 in their first match of Group D, before taking Nigeria and Croatia for a place in the knockout stages and potentially Messi’s last shot at World Cup glory.