Zurich: Having won an unprecedented fifth FIFA Ballon d’Or award, Argentine football legend Lionel Messi has asserted that he intends to finish his career at his present club FC Barcelona.
The 28-year-old Barcelona superstar received his fifth Ballon d’Or award at a glittering ceremony here on Monday, ending his rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s two-year hold on football’s top individual prize.
Portugal star Ronaldo, who represents Barcelona’s arch-rivals Real Madrid, has won the award three times.
The media in both Spain and England have previously speculated that Messi is thinking of leaving Barcelona, with Manchester City and Chelsea reportedly eager to sign him.
But Messi insists that he is fully committed to Barcelona and intends to see out his career with the Catalan giants.
“I’ve always said that I can’t leave Barcelona. It’s always my response. I want to finish my career at home and my home is Barcelona.
“Football changes so much. A year ago, we were all getting criticised and we ended up winning nearly everything. My intention is to terminate my career where it started, in Barcelona,” Messi was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I want to keep succeeding with the club. Now is not the time to think about whether this is my peak. It’s more important that we keep trying to win, that we work hard. It’s a lot to think about,” he added.