Every once in awhile there’s a rumor that spreads about Lionel Messi considering leaving FC Barcelona and playing somewhere else. Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain usually come up in these hypothetical discussions. But if you believe anything a footballer says, it’s not going to happen.
In an interview with France Football, Messi spoke about a lot of things: Winning the Ballon d’Or, his evolving game, his relationship with head coach Luis Enrique and teammates Neymar and Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and also the prospect of Messi every playing for anyone else other than Barcelona, the club he’s been a part of since he was 13.
Well, the answer is yes and no. Messi can’t see himself playing for someone else in Spain or Europe. This obviously doesn’t take into account the unfathomable sum of money some team will be willing to pay for him, and Barcelona keep playing it safe by signing him to a new contract on an almost yearly basis to make sure the day never comes close. But there might come a day when Messi wants to play away from the Camp Nou, maybe when he’s old and grey, and much closer to retirement.
So the options? Limitless. The MLS, China, Australia, a club on the Persian Gulf, maybe the new project in India, or perhaps a return to South America and Argentina. Newell’s Old Boys, the club he grew up in when he was still a young Rosario boy? Maybe a bigger club like River Plate or Boca Juniors? Or maybe he’ll try to see what it’s like across the border in Brazil? The options are limitless as we said, and as difficult as it is to imagine Messi playing for anyone other than Barcelona, never believe anything a footballer, head coach or someone from the profession says, and also consider that once Messi stops scoring goals and being the best footballer in the world, maybe Barcelona won’t be standing in his way anymore.