Lionel Messi could decide to walk away from Barcelona during the summer after a clash with Eric Abidal, according to ESPN pundit Gab Marcotti. The insider claimed Messi could look to copy Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi hit the headlines on Tuesday after appearing to have a public spat with Barca’s sporting director Abidal.
The ex-Barcelona player gave an interview regarding the sacking of former manager Ernesto Valverde, in which he claimed the playing staff let down their old boss
But Messi retaliated on Instagram, as he questioned why the off-field staff didn’t do more to help the team succeed. The incident has led fans to speculate over whether this could mark the end of Messi’s 20-year association with the Blaugrana.
Messi is under contract until the end of next season, but his future beyond that is unknown. The 32-year-old has stated that he doesn’t want to sign a lifetime contract, and has previously indicated that he wants to retire at his childhood club – Newell’s Old Boys.
He played for the Argentine side before joining Barcelona, and it is believed that he will return there before he retires.
But ESPN’s Marcotti believes there is a chance – albeit a slim one – that he will decide to walk away at the end of the season in order to play in another league. He explained on ESPN FC that he feels this would be in retaliation to Ronaldo’s career, in which the Portuguese ace has jumped from league to league.
“I think things are going to become clear very soon,” Marcotti declared of Messi’s future.
“A possibility is that Messi says ‘you know what? I’ve had enough here.’
“He’s talked about wanting to end his career at Barcelona, but he’s also said he doesn’t want a contract for life.