FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has revealed that he could finish his playing career in his native Argentina, but insists he is happy at the Nou Camp and will not play for another European club.
Lionel Messi has poured cold water on Manchester City’s designs to bring the Argentine superstar to the Etihad and pair him once again with former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, under whom he has flourished more than any other manager.
The record five-time Ballon d’Or winner revealed that he would like to play in Argentina some day, but is not thinking about leaving FC Barcelona for any other European club. There have been persistent rumours about his potential departure due to the perceived persecution he has faced in Spain, but it appears as though even that will not deter him from continuing his glittering career at the Nou Camp.
Messi was quoted by France Football magazine (via goal.com) as saying: “I have always said that Barcelona is my home and that I want to retire at this club, but I was talking about my European career there. I could never play for another European club than Barcelona.
“But I would like to play in Argentina, because I left when I was still little. I would like to know how it is to be part of the Argentine game.
“Anything can happen in football, but I have no doubts about what I want, and what I want is to stay here at Barcelona.”
— France Football (@francefootball) January 19, 2016
Messi departure from FC Barcelona close to impossible
Even though UEFA has relaxed its Financial Fair Play rules, signing Lionel Messi would take the sort of money that could buy a small football club. Not only will the transfer fee likely be a world record amount, the wages offered will also have to be obscene.
Messi reportedly earns £26m annually in basic salary (before bonuses), which is approximately twice as much as the Premier League’s highest-paid player — Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Quite simply, constructing a deal for Messi is close to impossible, and clubs are likely to focus on building the squad as a whole rather than putting all their eggs in one basket and spending the transfer window chasing a player they’re not likely to get.