A day after squashing transfer rumours by saying he had no intention of leaving Barcelona, Lionel Messi told reporters in Zurich that he doesn’t know where he’ll be playing next year.
There are reports in Spain that Messi and coach Luis Enrique are feuding after the 27-year-old superstar was benched in a game against Real Sociedad, and then skipped practice the next day.
Messi sent fans into a tizzy by following Chelsea on Instagram, and Spanish journalist Guillem Balague told Sky Sports that this was the closest he has ever come to leaving the club.
After Barca’s comprehensive 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid over the weekend, Messi addressed the rumours. He said he never demanded that Luis Enrique be fired, adding, “I don’t demand anything for me to stay because I have no intention of leaving anywhere. I’ve heard stories I’ve spoken to Chelsea or City, that’s all lies.”
At the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on Monday, Messi sounded far less insistent that he was staying at Barcelona. He told reporters when asked if he would play for another club (via the Guardian):
“I am not sure if I will go back to Newell’s Old Boys one day. I am not sure where I will be next year. I have always said that I will end my career at Barcelona but as Cristiano said: ‘Only God knows the future.’ Things in football can change overnight.”
Messi seems to be talking generally here, but it’s still not exactly a strong commitment to the club.
There are only a handful of clubs in the world that can even afford to pay Messi’s rumoured $US300 million buyout clause. Him actually leaving Barcelona would be a huge shock.
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