Lionel Messi has thrown his future at Barcelona into further doubt following comments at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Monaco on Monday.
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The Argentine forward lost out on being named the as the world’s best player to Cristiano Ronaldo, but in a question and answer session before the winner was named Messi sparked plenty of debate over his future at Barca.
Asked about his future plans, here’s what the 27-year-old Argentina national team captain had to say to assembled journalists.
“I am not sure if I will go back to Newell’s Old Boys one day,” Messi said, before adding. “I am not sure where I will be next year. I have always said I want to end my career at Barcelona but as Cristiano (Ronaldo) said: `Only God knows the future.’ Especially in football where things can change overnight.”
After that interview and following the Ballon d’Or ceremony where he came a distant second to Ronaldo in the voting, Messi backtracked on those comments and claimed he was happy to fight to take Barcelona back to its rightful place. Following Barca’s 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday, Messi also denounced “lies” about him controlling Barcelona and wanting to leave the only club he’s ever known.
However with his latest non-committal response, Messi has sparked serious doubts over his future at the Nou Camp as rumors surrounding a fallout with Barcelona’s boss Luis Enrique have surfaced, plus plenty of other tumultuous matters have occurred in recent months at the Catalan club to suggest a meltdown is on the cards.
Expect this talk to intensify in the coming weeks as the rest of European soccer’s superpowers try to figure out how they could possibly buy Messi under UEFA’s strict Financial Fair Play regulations.