Barcelona superstar and Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi has admitted he will leave the Catalan club.
The world’s best player collected the prize for the third time in a row on Monday night.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Ole, Messi confirmed he would not stay with Barcelona permanently but that he would like to play in his native Argentina before he retires.
However, he did say he would never leave the Spanish, Champions League and World champions for another side in Europe.
“In Europe I want to play at Barcelona. I would stay here forever, the longer the better because I feel very comfortable and loved,” the 24-year-old said.
“But before I retire I want to play in my country, I am absolutely certain that I want to play in Argentina. It is a dream and I am going to make it come true.”
Messi also revealed he was slightly star-struck receiving the award form Brazilian legend Ronaldo, lavishing praise on the former Ballon D’Or winner.
“I was overjoyed to meet him. I was transfixed watching his goals on the screen that was on the stage, amazing, he was an amazing forward and also a great guy, always with a smile on his face,” he explained.
“It is an honour to receive the prize from him. Another dream come true, because as a kid I admired him, he was a brilliant goalscorer.”
Messi moved to Barcelona when he was just 13 years old after being spotted playing at the Newell’s Old Boys academy.