Madrid, Spain (AFP) – Lionel Messi remained coy on his future at Barcelona in a long interview broadcast on Sunday in which he called the Catalan giants “my life”.
Speaking to Spanish TV channel La Sexta, Messi insisted that he was “excited” to play under coach Ronald Koeman this season despite trying to leave the club where he has played his entire senior career last summer.
He said that at the time he felt like he “needed a change”, but his attempted exit was blocked amid a spat with former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Messi’s contract expires at the end of the season and from next month he will be free to negotiate a move away from Catalonia.
“Barca is my life, I’m in love with the club. And the city, my children were born here,” Messi said in an interview conducted earlier this month.
“It’s true I had a bad time in the summer. It came from everything that happened before the summer, how the season ended, the burofax (how Messi communicated his desire to leave), all of that.
“I carried that into the start of the season a little bit.”
Bartomeu stepped down in October and a new Barcelona president will be elected on January 24, after which 33-year-old Messi is expected to begin talks over whether to extend his career-long stay.
“I feel good right now, ready to fight for everything. I feel excited,” he said.
Messi said he is under no illusions over the position Barca find themselves in, with the financial problems exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic likely to hamper player recruitment.
Much of the talk surrounding Messi’s departure centred around the possibility he might reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, although there are also reports of him potentially lining up alongside Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.