Lionel Messi is being tipped to return to Argentina and former club Newell’s Old Boys if he ever decides to leave Barcelona.
Cristian D’Amico, the vice-president of Newell’s, is confident the 32-year-old could be convinced to return to his homeland for one last stint before he finally hangs up his boots.
He told Late 93.1’s JogoBonito: “There is not a day in my life that I do not lie down thinking that Messi comes to Newell’s. Nothing in life is impossible. It is not an easy thing because we are talking about the world’s best player. I know that if Messi decides to leave, he will play for Newell’s. It does not depend solely on us. Claudio Tapia at the AFA can also help, he is very close to him. I have no contact with Messi. I try not to disturb him.”
Messi is currently contracted to Barcelona until 2021 and has a buyout clause of €700 million. However, the deal includes a clause that allows him to leave at the end of every season, according to Juan I. Irigoyen and Ramon Besa at El Pais.
Messi Has Admitted Retirement Is in Sight
The Barcelona captain acknowledged that he is getting closer to retirement back in December in his acceptance speech when he picked up a record sixth Ballon d’Or. He said: “I’m aware of how old I am. And I enjoy these moments so much because I know that retirement is approaching. Time flies.”
The forward will turn 33 in June but has been backed to carry on for some time yet. Former Barcelona team-mate Xavi told Samuel Eto’o in an Instagram Live chat during lockdown he is confident Messi has “still got five or seven very good years left in him.”
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told the Associated Press in November 2019 that if “all parties” wanted they may extend Messi’s contract “indefinitely.”
Barcelona Has Become Messi’s Home
Messi has admitted in the past it would be a “dream” to return to Newell’s before his playing days are over. Yet the Barca skipper has also acknowledged it may not be possible. He spoke to TyC Sports about a possible return and said: “I don’t know if it’s really going to happen because I have a family that is ahead of my desire.”
The forward has also admitted he would be happy to end his playing days at Barcelona. Messi joined the Catalan club at the age of 13 and has enjoyed a phenomenal career, winning countless league titles and four Champions League crowns at the Camp Nou.
He told RAC1 in October of last year “it’s clear that my idea is to finish my career at Barça” which means D’Amico and Newell’s may not get their wish to see him back in the red and black once again after all.