Lionel Messi speaks to reporters at Barcelona Airport
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Lionel Messi was angry at being mocked up in a PSG shirt amid uncertainty over his future at Barcelona, according to reports. The Argentina international is widely expected to leave the Nou Camp behind at the end of the campaign. However, that may not happen now.
Messi has spent the whole of his professional career with Barcelona.
And he’s established himself as one of football’s best ever players over the years, scoring 657 goals and helping the Catalan giants 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.
With Barcelona struggling, however, talk of Messi leaving is rife.
The 33-year-old wanted to depart back in the summer and, since then, moves to PSG and Manchester City have both been touted.
Yet Marca say Messi could actually end up staying at Barcelona, with the Argentine very much open to that idea at the current moment in time.
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It’s claimed the Argentina international was unhappy at being mocked up in a PSG shirt by the media shortly before their recent Champions League clash.
And Messi could stay at Barcelona if he’s given a certain guarantee.
The South American forward wants a sporting project to be invested in, a blueprint to future success.
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And with Barcelona’s presidential elections due to be held later in the year, that will be key to determining what will happen with regards to his future.
City are hellbent on signing the 33-year-old, with Pep Guardiola previously managing Messi at Barcelona.
And PSG would love to pair him alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in attack as they eye Champions League glory under Mauricio Pochettino.
Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman has opened up on his Barcelona talisman – insisting he’s never been critical of Messi during his reign.
“When I spoke about the experienced players I was not talking about him,” he said.
“He keeps scoring lots of goals. It’s the others that have to start making a difference, not Messi. He is already making a difference and he did it again in this game.
“Everyone could see that we lacked intensity in rhythm in the first half. It’s a good thing that as the captain Messi demands more intensity.”
Former Barcelona star Rivaldo thinks Messi will end up in France though, rather than in England.
“This may well have been Lionel Messi’s last match for Barcelona at Camp Nou in the Champions League,” he said.
“Based on the quality PSG showed, I’m sure he might be thinking about joining them.
“I want Messi to stay at Barcelona but I understand why he’d want to leave at the moment when the club is not guaranteeing him good chances of fighting for important titles regularly.
“He can’t keep taking responsibility for the team on his own. Last summer, he saw Luis Suarez leave in an incomprehensible transfer that has made Atletico Madrid stronger.
“I believe he will leave the club at the end of season.”
Messi is expected to feature when Barcelona face Sevilla on Sunday.
And he’ll be hoping to avoid another defeat against Julen Lopetegui’s side.
Sevilla beat Barcelona 2-0 earlier in the month, with Ivan Rakitic and Jules Kounde on target in the Copa del Rey.
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