Messi: I’ve never had the need to leave Barcelona, the best club in the world
Lionel Messi says he has “never had the need to leave the best club in the world”, with Barcelona still very much part of his present and future.
Transfer talk has swirled around the Argentine superstar in the past, and he recently revealed that he considered a move in 2013 after being caught up in a tax avoidance case.
Remaining loyal to Barca was not a tough choice, with that decision having been vindicated by more major honours and prestigious individual prizes.
Most recently, he has been presented with the sixth Golden Shoe of a stunning career.
It remains to be seen how long the 32-year-old has left, but he is reluctant to be drawn into a debate regarding a possible end date for an iconic career.
Messi told Gazzetta dello Sport when that question was put to him: “I'll find out over time, because you realise by yourself when you can’t go on.
“I'll be the one to say enough is enough, but I don't know how much longer that will be. At the moment I feel good.”
That will be music to the ears of those at Camp Nou, who have worked hard to keep Messi happy, firing and fully committed to their cause.
The Argentine’s eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, has opted to take on several new challenges in his career – taking in spells at the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus – but Messi insists transfers have never been an option for him.
He added: “Each of us looks for experiences that he considers to be best for himself.
“I have never had the need to leave the best club in the world, which is Barcelona. Here I enjoy every workout, every game and the city.
“Overall this is a complete experience and I have always had in mind what my goal is here without having to go looking for it elsewhere.”
Messi is also happy to buck the trend when it comes to the public profile of superstar performers, with the quiet South American prepared to let his football do the talking while the likes of Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sing their own praises.
“I prefer that others talk about me,” he added.
“I know what I am, what I have done and what I can still give, but I keep it to myself. Whether others are commenting, I don't like talking about myself. I always prefer to think of the collective.”
Messi feels ready to continue making headlines now that he is clear of the untimely injury which delayed his start to the 2019-20 campaign.
With one goal to his name this term, he said of his physical condition: “It is difficult, because in your head you feel good, strong. You think you are 25 and you can continue to do the same things you did then.
“But it is the body that commands you and there are situations in which you have to pay more attention than before. We need to manage matches and training differently.”