Lionel Messi advised to stay at Camp Nou by Pep Guardiola
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has advised Lionel Messi to stay at Camp Nou amid speculations about the reigning Ballon d’Or winner’s future, Sky Sports reports. The Argentinean is linked with a sensational move to team up with Guardiola at Manchester City; however, the current City manager has advised his former star pupil to stay put at Catalonia.
Trouble brewed at Camp Nou after Messi was embroiled in a public spat with Barcelona sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal. Tensions began when, in an interview with Spanish daily Diario Sport, the Frenchman accused Barcelona players of not putting in effort under former manager Ernesto Valverde.
The current Best FIFA Men’s Player of the ear did not take Abidal’s criticism lightly and responded by asking Abidal to take responsibility for his actions. In a post on Instagram, Messi also urged the former Barcelona player to reveal the names of players he had accused of negligence on the field.
That was enough to send the rumor mill spinning. Reports that the Argentinean has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the Blaugrana for free at the end of the season only added fuel to the fire and rumors were soon afloat that Messi could join Manchester City in the summer. However, Guardiola has dismissed those talks and has even advised the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay in Barcelona.
Guardiola believes Messi will retire at Barcelona
Along with the Spanish manager, Manchester City also have many former Barcelona staffs occupying senior positions at the Etihad, which means that City could be a familiar place for Messi. But Guardiola insists that he does not want the Barcelona skipper to leave the Camp Nou.
He's a player from Barcelona. He will stay there. That is my wish: stay in Barcelona.
While the prospect of playing under his former manager could be enticing for the Argentinean, it is hard to imagine Messi leaving the Catalans any time soon. The common belief is that the Barcelona skipper will retire at the club and Guardiola also echoed the same sentiment.
I think he's going to finish his career there.
Even though Guardiola does not want the Argentinean to leave Barcelona, Premier League managers Eddie Howe, Chris Wilder, and Carlo Ancelotti revealed that they would love the have Messi in the Premier League. However, all of them also admitted that it was hard to imagine the Argentinean leaving the Camp Nou. Ancelotti’s word, perhaps, summed up the situation perfectly. "It would be fantastic for the Premier League but I don't think it is possible. Messi is a Barcelona legend and I'm sure he is going to finish his career at Barcelona."Published 08 Feb 2020, 00:21 IST