Messi pledges to spend entire career at Barca
World footballer of the year Lionel Messi has pledged to spend his entire playing career at Barcelona.
Messi was speaking from Bogota, ahead of Friday’s friendly international between Colombia and Argentina.
“Barcelona is my home,” he said, “and I would love to spend my entire footballing career there, until I retire.”
When asked if he would consider joining Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid, the captain of Argentina answered: “I am not thinking about a move to Real Madrid.”
Messi, who turns 25 on Sunday, came to Barcelona as a 13-year-old and has risen to arguably the best player in the world. He scored a record-breaking total of 73 goals for Barca last season and has been World Footballer the last three years.
Messi was also asked about Tito Vilanova taking over as coach at Barca from Pep Guardiola, who stepped down after winning 14 titles in four years with the team.
“We are all pleased that Tito has been chosen as Guardiola’s replacement,” he replied. “He is a person that we know very well, he knows how to work in the same way as Guardiola.
“Obviously, the departure of Pep was painful for us, because we didn’t expect it, but Tito will not change our way of working very much. Everything will be similar to how it was.”
Messi also showed his satisfaction at the goals he has scored for Argentina in recent games, most notably a hat-trick in a 4-3 victory over South American rivals Brazil.
“I would love to win many things with my national team. Luckily, I have been able to score in our World Cup qualifying matches,” he said.
When asked about the pregnancy of his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi replied: “I don’t really like talking about my private life, but I am very happy at the prospect of being a father, I am enjoying all of this.”