Messi: I don’t know where I’ll be next year

The Argentina star admitted he did not know what the future holds with rumours around his Barcelona career sure to intensify

Lionel Messi has paved the way for more speculation over his future after admitting he “doesn’t know where he’ll be next year”.

The Barcelona superstar, talking ahead of the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich, was asked if he thought he’d play for anyone other than current employers Barcelona, and boyhood favourites Newell’s Old Boys, a club he has often mentioned as a potential destination when he ends his time in Europe.

The Argentine said: “I am not sure what’s going to happen, whether I’ll go back to Newell’s. I don’t know where I’ll be next year.

“I always said I’d like to finish my career at Barca and then play at Newell’s but nobody knows what the future holds, especially in the football world where so many things can change overnight.”

Messi’s words are a surprise given they were delivered less than 24 hours after he rubbished talk of a rift with coach Luis Enrique and insisted he was happy with life at Camp Nou after a turbulent week which saw director of football Andoni Zubizarreta sacked, his assistant Carles Puyol leave and elections called for the end of the season.

Speaking after scoring in a 3-1 defeat of La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday night, Messi told Barca TV: “I never demanded anything to stay, as I have no intention of leaving. It is not good to look for rivalry between Luis Enrique and me, because there is none.

“We must be more united than ever. They should not throw sh*t at us. We just want to achieve things for the club.

“It is said that my father spoke with Man City, with Chelsea. It’s all lies, it’s all lies.”

Messi will find out in a few hours’ time if he has landed the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time in his career. He is up against Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.