Messi casts doubt on Barca fu­ture

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

ZURICH — Bal­lon d’or fi­nal­ist Lionel Messi on Mon­day fu­elled spec­u­la­tion he would con­sider an exit from his trou­bled Barcelona club, just one day af­ter say­ing he had “no in­ten­tion” of leav­ing the Camp Nou for Chelsea or Manch­ester City.

“Well, I’m not sure what’s go­ing to hap­pen — if one day I’ll go back to Newell’s (Old Boys). I’m not sure where I’ll be next year.

I’ve al­ways said that I’d like to fin­ish my ca­reer at Barcelona, play at Newell’s, but as Cris­tiano just said, no­body knows what the fu­ture holds — and much less so in the case of the foot­ball world, where ev­ery­thing can change overnight,” Messi told re­porters as his part­ing shot dur­ing a pre­lim­i­nary news con­fer­ence for the Bal­lon d’or.

Messi seemed to be tak­ing a lead from his long-time ri­val Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, who had just said he is happy to stay at Real Madrid but doesn’t know what the fu­ture holds.

Ron­aldo and Messi were ac­com­pa­nied fel­low Bal­lon d’or can­di­date Manuel Neuer at the con­fer­ence.

The last week has brought fevered cov­er­age in the Cata­lan press of an al­leged break­down in re­la­tion­ship be­tween the blau­grana su­per­star and his firstyear coach, with some out­lets re­port­ing that Messi had even given club pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu an ul­ti­ma­tum that Enrique had to go or Messi would leave.

Later in the week, re­ports sur- faced that the 27-year-old could even leave the club this sum­mer, with Chelsea seen as his most likely des­ti­na­tion.

Speak­ing af­ter he had scored and as­sisted a Luis Suarez goal in a 3-1 win, the Ar­gen­tine had de­nied ru­mours that he was look­ing to exit the club, telling Barca TV he was fed up with who­ever was mak­ing such claims.

“It hurts be­cause it comes from peo­ple who (sup­pos­edly) love Barcelona,” said Messi. “It’s peo­ple who want to hurt the club — and this time it did not come from Madrid, like other times, it has come from here.

“I have heard lots of things be­ing said about me be­fore and now.

They make it look like I am the one who is in charge here when I am just an­other player.

I have never de­manded any­thing to stay be­cause I don’t have any in­ten­tion of go­ing.

“I heard peo­ple say that my dad had spo­ken to Chelsea, to City. It’s all lies.” — ESPN

LIONEL Messi

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