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BARCELONA

Messi: I don't want to be bound to life-time contract at Barcelona

The Barcelona striker has spoken about his future at Camp Nou, Neymar and his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo in an interview on Argentinean radio.

Messi: I don't want to be bound to life-time contract at Barcelona

Lionel Messi has stated that he does not want to be held down by a “contract for life” at Barcelona, the club he joined at the tender age of 13 in 2000.

The Argentine striker’s current deal expires in June 2021 and he recently gave the green light to begin renewal talks in an interview on Spanish radio, saying “my idea is to stay here forever”.

And while the 32-year-old superstar maintained in his latest radio appearance that he wants to see out his career at Camp Nou, he revealed that he would prefer do so unbound by a life-time contract.

“It is true that Barcelona proposed to me a contract for life, but what I said was that I do not want a contract to bind me,” he told Argentina’s Radio Metro 95.1 programme, Perros de la Calle.

“I want to be fine to perform, to play and continue fighting for objectives. Being here can be for life, but not with a contract.”

Lionel Messi admitted he misses his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi on Ronaldo and Neymar

Messi was also asked about ex-team mate Neymar and admitted that the Brazilian’s much speculated return to Barcelona was always going to be a complicated issue, considering the animosity towards him among some factions at Camp Nou following his unpopular exit from the club to join PSG in 2017.

“We talk to Neymar often. We still have a Whatsapp group with Luis (Suárez),” said the Argentina international.

“It's complicated for him to come back, as he left here, many club members and people don't want him to come back. From a sporting point of view he would be wonderful, but the other view is also understandable. It's a bit complicated."

Messi and Neymar together at Barcelona.

While he shared a dressing room and strike partnership with Neymar, another fellow footballing superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, was always a fierce rival at Real Madrid.

And more than 15 months on since Ronaldo left Spanish football for Juventus, Messi once again confessed that he misses the great rivalry the pair shared when the Portuguese striker was at Madrid.

"It is strange. It was good when Cristiano Ronaldo was there,” said the Rosario-born footballer.

“He made the Clásico much more special, he gave more value to LaLiga as well”