Lionel Messi: 'I want to finish my career at home, and my home is Barca'
Lionel Messi says he wants to finish his career at Barcelona, ending any speculation that he is set to leave the club in the near future.
After winning a historic fifth Ballon d'Or at Monday's ceremony in Zurich, the Argentine said it his intention to finish his career where he started -- "at home" in Barcelona.
"I've always said that I don't want to leave Barcelona," Messi said. "It's always the same response. My idea is I want to finish my career at home, and my home is Barca."
The words will come as a blow to clubs like Premier League Manchester City and Chelsea, who had felt they have an outside chance of signing Messi after some of the unrest the playmaker has reportedly experienced at the Camp Nou in the past year.
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Messi referred to some of those difficulties in the mixed zone after the ceremony, acknowledging the criticism he and his team had received at this exact point last year, when Cristiano Ronaldo won the award and Barcelona had failed to win any trophies in 2014.
But he insisted that no matter what he has always wanted to stay with Barcelona.
"Football has many twists," he said. "A year ago, we were all getting criticised and we ended up winning nearly everything.
"My intention is to end my career where I started it in Barcelona."