In the most revealing interview of his incredible career, Lionel Messi seemed to subtly underline his desire to leave the club after his transfer request last summer was rejected.
Messi has had an incredible career and at the time of writing, he has scored 644 goals and assisted a further 283 in just 749 games.
The iconic no.10 is just 73 goal contributions shy of being directly involved in 1000 goals in his club career.
Barcelona fans have been lucky to have such an incredible player at their club for the length of time that he’s been at the Nou Camp but his recent interview suggests that his time in Spain might come to an end.
Messi will not betray Barcelona with Madrid switch
One thing that Messi made clear is that if he does move on from Barcelona, he will not be moving to Real Madrid or even Atleti.
He told La Sexta: “I’m not going to join Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid. It’s absolutely impossible.”
The diminutive maestro has scored 26 goals and made 14 assists against Real Madrid in his career and in games against Atleti, he has contributed directly to a finish 37 times.
Barcelona fans can at least take solace in the fact that if Messi decides to leave the club in the summer, he won’t come up against them unless the La Liga outfit faces his new side in the Champions League.
He has completed a ‘cycle’ at Barcelona
The Argentinian could have left for Manchester City last summer after he submitted a fax to formally signal his desire to leave the club but it was blocked by Barcelona and he has now explained his thinking to La Sexta.
He said: “The last six months, many times, I told the president that I was leaving, that I wanted to leave, to help me, that I wanted to leave and he [said] no, no, no. It was a way of saying I want to go seriously.
“That bothered me…I felt I’d completed a cycle and it was time to leave the club that had given me so much.
“I wanted to win titles and battle for the Champions League and felt it was time for a change. The president then started to filter this and that to paint a negative picture of me.”
Messi promises not to talk to other clubs…until June 2021
As the all-time Barcelona great told La Sexta, Messi could have left in the summer, with several lawyers telling him he would have won in court, but he didn’t want to leave the club that gave him everything in a distasteful manner.
Now, though, he has all the power and can leave for free at the end of the season but he won’t decide his future until the campaign comes to a close.
Messi said: “I’m not thinking too far ahead in the short-term and just want to see how the season finishes.
“I will not negotiate with other clubs. I will wait for the season to end and in June I will decide.”
Pep and Leo in contact but not over potential City move
Guardiola was the manager that helped Messi blossom as a false nine and while he was always going to be one of the all-time greats, there is no denying the influence that Pep had on him.
Messi told La Sexta: “I don’t know how long my last chat with Pep Guardiola was, but we do talk.
“We don’t talk about whether we are going to meet again.
“For me Pep is the best, he has something special.”