Messi: I want to stay at Barca

Lionel Messi says that while ‘anything can happen in football’ he knows what he wants. ‘I want to stay at Barcelona.’

Messi was speaking to France Football to mark his record fifth Ballon d’Or win, and said that none of his victories rank above any other – and predicted future success for Neymar.

“[All Ballon d’Or wins] are special. The first because it was the first, obviously,” he said.

“The second because it was an extension, confirmation. Each Ballon d’Or has its specificity, its history.

“I think Neymar will win the Ballon d’Or one day because he has all the qualities and is a player of a high class.

“He’ll be as good as he wants to be. Everything is open to him. He’s fast, technical, he excels in one-on-ones. He has everything.”

Messi admitted that prior to having children he was single-minded, only thinking of football, but now has more to occupy his time as he considers his future.

“The birth of Thiago, my first son, three years ago, totally changed my life and my perception of life in general,” he acknowledged.

“Before, everything was dedicated to football. If I made a mistake in a game, I would spend three or four days mulling it over at home.

“Anything can happen in football but I’m sure what I want. And what I want is to stay at Barcelona.”

Tags Ballon d'Or Lionel Messi Neymar