Lionel Messi is going, not going, going again.
What he said:
“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.
I heard all sorts of things said. I never come out and deny [stories] but this time I am. It has been said that I have pushed out lots of people … Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Guardiola … [and] I didn’t ask them to sack our manager.
It hurts because it comes from people who [supposedly] love Barcelona. 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.
Don’t throw shit at us from outside because that will only do us harm.”
Lionel Messi threw all speculation about his future with Barcelona out the window following his team’s 3-1 drubbing of Atletico Madrid, their first in over a year.
The statement allayed fans’ fears for the time being given the recent happenings at the club in the past week.
Barca have sacked their sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta and Carles Puyol has quit the club.
While president, Josep María Bartomeu, has reassured Catalonians that Luis Enrique will continue as coach, he also announced that presidential elections will be brought forward a year making his own future at the club uncertain.
Messi’s relationship with Enrique has been on the rocks with the manager keen on resting his star player to prevent possible breakdown and burn out.
Messi would rather play most if not all games.
However, at the 2014 Ballon d’Or awards, the Argentine revealed fresh doubts.
“I don’t know where I will be next season. I would like to finish with Newell’s [the club from his hometown of Rosario]. As Cristiano Ronaldo says, only God knows the future. Things in football can change overnight.”
What he really meant:
“Now, now,now. If Chelsea or Manchester City are willing to bite the bait, I could still move. Besides, I can now bargain with Barca about the extension of my contract. More power to me. It’s all about negotiations, baby, and I like to be the one in the dribbler’s seat. Perhaps, I’ll get Luis (Enrique) to start me more often.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“It’s all about continuity and what’s best for the club and its fans.”