Although the victory of time is inevitable, a chill will meet many with the news that Lionel Messi is nearing retirement. The Argentine superstar is 35 and likely in his last international tournament at the World Cup. The common thought appears to be that he will also discuss his club future after the tournament finishes, and it may well be that those discussions are about his final moves in football.
Speaking to Universo Valdano in an interview with Jorge Valdano – part of the last Argentina side to win a World Cup – Messi spoke about his final years and the prospect of returning to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario.
“I don’t know, so many things happen… It was a dream that I always had as a child, of being able to play in Argentine football, that I would go to the pitch and I wanted to be there. But today it depends on many things, I have my family, three children, I just had a very big change in my life that was difficult for me and my whole family. Now I have gotten over it and we feel spectacular.”
“Now I enjoy a city that seems beautiful to me. The first year was a big change and it took a long time. I was prevented from enjoying everything because it was a decision that came suddenly.”
Although Messi was still one of the best players in the world last season, it was clear for all to see that he was not the same player he had been for much of his career, likely because of that mental shock.
He has been linked with a number of teams, some believing he will move to Major League Soccer and Inter Miami, where he has a house. Paris Saint-Germain will likely try to renew his deal, expiring next summer, and Barcelona will also pursue a glorious return.
Messi did hint that it might be his final hurrah though, wherever he signs. His words were carried by Mundo Deportivo.
“I love football, I love playing it and I enjoy it, the only thing I’ve done all my life is play football, and I’m sure that whatever I do after will be related to it, although I don’t know what. I don’t think I’ll play much more.”