Speaking to reporters ahead of the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on Monday, Lionel Messi fueled speculation that he would consider a move away from Barcelona just one day after claiming he had “no intention” of leaving the Camp Nou.
"Well, I'm not sure what's going to happen -- if one day I'll go back to Newell's [Old Boys],” the Argentina international said ahead of the ceremony, where he finished second to Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. “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."
On Sunday, after guiding Barca to an emphatic 3-1 win at home to Atletico Madrid, Messi had denied he was looking to exit the club, telling Barca TV he was fed up with whoever was making those claims. "It hurts because it comes from people who [supposedly] love Barcelona," the 27-year-old is quoted as saying. "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."
He added: “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."