Cesc Fabregas has revealed his belief that Lionel Messi will ultimately end his career at Barcelona amid a significant amount of unrest in recent times.
The 32-year-old has been with the Catalan giants since 2001, and he has since gone on to score 627 goals in 718 appearances for the senior side.
In that time he has won countless trophies and individual accolades, including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.
With 24 goals and 16 assists in 31 appearances so far this season, he has clearly got a lot left in the tank, and so Barcelona will no doubt hope to keep hold of him for the foreseeable future.
However, there has been plenty of concern over Messi’s future at the Nou Camp due to off-the-field matters, with the Guardian reporting on his spat with sporting director Eric Abidal back in February which turned public, as well as a possible release clause.
In turn, it remains to be seen whether any of that is enough to force him to consider his options, but Fabregas is confident that the Argentine international won’t be going anywhere.
“I speak with Messi and his idea has always been to end his career at Barcelona,” he told Cadena Cope.
“Many things can happen at a club but I am fully confident that his career will end at Barca.”
Time will tell if Fabregas is right with his prediction, but given Messi’s attachment to Barcelona and his ongoing importance as well as their ability to continue to compete for major trophies year in and year out, it would be a huge shock if he did indeed walk away.
Perhaps a sentimental return to Argentina will appeal in the final stages of his playing career, but while still capable of producing at the highest level, which he clearly is, Messi will surely be focused on delivering more success for Barcelona and not following the path of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo and his decision to leave Spain.