Lionel Messi has voiced his desire to return to Newell’s Old Boys when he leaves Barcelona.
Messi started his career at Newell’s in his home country of Argentina. He left them for Barcelona at the age of 13 but his heart belongs in Rosario.
“I would love to [return],” Messi said, via ESPN. “It is something I have kept an eye on because it was my dream as a child.
“Obviously my life started to change and went another way, but I have no regrets.
“It’s something I have kept an eye on. I want to play in Argentine football and Newell’s, where I grew up.”
Should Messi return, he would get the opportunity to take part in one of the fiercest derbies in Argentine football.
The Rosario derby is played between Newell’s Old Boys and Rosario Central. No love is lost between the two clubs.
Messi’s confrontation with fan
Yet one football fan was confident that Messi would sign her Rosario Central shirt when she met him at the airport following Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Messi refused – his allegiance is to Newell’s – and the fan started to insult him.
According to football journalist Juan Arango, the fan called Messi “pecho frio”, which translates to “passionless”.
Messi didn’t pay any attention to the fan.
Per Marca, hundreds of Rosario Central supporters have criticised the fan’s behaviour on social media.
Did she really expect Messi to sign the shirt of Newell’s biggest rival?
Newell’s means an awful lot to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. He was always unlikely to sign it.
It remains to be seen when Messi will return to Rosario.
He’s 31-years-old now and Xavi and Andres Iniesta have both left him at the Camp Nou.
But Messi’s performances at the start of the 2018-19 season – he’s scored twice and provided an assist in three appearances – suggest his level isn’t going to drop any time soon.
Newell’s will have to wait for their beloved son to return home.