Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has admitted he loves to watch English football as a spectator, but insists he has no desire to test himself in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was speaking ahead of the Catalan club's Champions League semi-final first leg clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The game will provide a rare opportunity for English fans to get a glimpse of the world's greatest player, and team, in the flesh when the reigning champions arrive in west London next week.
"The Premier League is immensely exciting and when I get the opportunity I love to watch it on television," Messi told The Sun. "There is a great deal to admire about English football.
"It's very competitive and played at a phenomenal speed. They play with their heart, with plenty of emotion, spirit and determination. And the supporters are enthusiastic, passionate and very fair.
"I know from my experience of playing against English clubs how their supporters appreciate good football and talent.
"English clubs are tough, strong and very physical but when the game comes to a end they are always humble, fair and decent even in defeat."
Barcelona go into the game as hot favourites to advance to the Champions League final, set to be played in Munich, but Messi insists that neither he, nor his teammates, will underestimate the threat posed by Chelsea.
If the Argentine international ever declared himself available for transfer, he would undoubtedly court the attention of every ambitious club across the globe.
But, despite his glowing reference of the English game, Messi has ended all speculation suggesting he may one day grace these shores, by reaffirming his lifelong commitment to the Camp Nou.
"I have never thought about life beyond Barcelona," he explained. "My heart belongs to the club and I can never see the day arrive when I want to leave.
"It has always been my intention to stay here since the very first day I arrived and nothing has convinced me to change my mind. I could never see the day arrive when I would play in England.
"I accept you never know what can happen in the future but if it's my decision and my decision alone then I would be happy to finish my playing career at the club."
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