Barca star Messi outlines desire to play in Argentina

Matt Stead
Lionel Messi Barcelona

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to play in his homeland of Argentina before the end of his playing career.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner began his career with Argentinian outfit Newell’s Old Boys before being snapped up by Barca’s academy in 2001.

The 28-year-old has since gone on to win seven Primera Division titles, three Copa del Reys and four Champions League winners’ medals and could add to that tally this season.

Primera Division leaders Barcelona are currently on a 34-match unbeaten run in all competitions and hold a 2-0 lead over Arsenal after the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League.

And while Messi has no immediate intention of leaving Spain, he does concede a move back home appeals at some stage.

“It’s something that I would still like to do. I don’t know when, but it’s a possibility,” he told Argentinian magazine El Grafico.

“I haven’t set myself any goals, short or long term, but I’d like to keep playing whilst my body allows it and I have something to offer the team. When I know that it’s time, I’ll make a decision.”

The Argentina captain has scored 49 international goals and is closing in on Gabriel Batistuta’s record of 57.

Yet Messi, who guided his country to the World Cup final in 2014 before being beaten in extra time by Germany, admits he would rather win team accolades.

“I prefer to win something with the national team,” he said. “I am not interested in records. They are there, but that does not make you win titles.

“I get upset whenever we lose with Argentina because I know that we should have won. We did enough to win the World Cup and the Copa America.”