Lionel Messi "honoured" by transfer interest

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Lionel Messi has revealed there has been much interest in him from other clubs down the years and admitted he felt "honoured" by such links, though insisted there was only one club close to his heart.

Barcelona's superstar was speaking to Dutch news paper De Telegraaf when he revealed the truth behind reports linking him with a number of the world's richest clubs, but eased the the fears of any fans of the Catalan club that were worried he might leave.

Messi reaffirmed his love for Barcelona, where he has been since his early teens, and once again stated his desire for it to be the only club he plays for in Europe.

"I feel honored each time my name is mentioned with other big clubs. It's true that a lot of clubs have shown an interest in me," he said.

"But my opinion has not changed. Barcelona's style of play suits me and it's my dream to stay at Barcelona for the rest of my life."

The 26-year-old is currently out of action after a hamstring injury and is not expected to return before the turn of the year, though his teammates were able to compensate for his absence on Saturday, thrashing Granada 4-0 in La Liga.

Tata Martino's side will expect a tougher test when he takes them to Amsterdam and a meeting with Ajax on Tuesday, though they have all but qualified and need only a point to confirm it.

Messi also expressed his confidence that Barça are more than capable of dealing with him being missing and thinks he will be ready to return for the taxing first few weeks of the new year.

"I might not be playing at the moment, but the team is doing great again. The toughest time of the season comes after Christmas, but I'm confident that we will win a trophy."

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