Cryptic Lionel Messi is still out injured

Joe Prince-Wright
NBC Sports

Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Valencia this Saturday and there is a growing fear that his injury is worse than first feared.

Messi, 32, suffered a calf injury over the summer and hasn’t played in Barcelona’s first three games of the season. He will miss the fourth against Valencia and it is doubtful he will play against Borussia Dortmund in their UEFA Champions League opener on Tuesday.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Sport (watch in the video above), the captain of Barcelona was asked about his future at the Nou Camp. Reports had suggested that there is a clause in his deal which allows him to leave Barca for free at the end of this season.

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“I can’t confirm anything because in the contracts there is a confidentiality clause and I can’t say anything,” Messi said. “What I can say is that I want to be at Barcelona as long as I can, spend all my career here because this is my home. I don’t want a long contract and to stay because I have a contract, but because I want to be in good shape physically, to play, to be important, and see that there is a winning project. Of course. I want to win. And I want to win with this club. This is my home. I have no intention of moving, but I want to keep competing and winning.”

That last line seems like a little carrot being dangled in front of the face of the directors at Barcelona.

It isn’t quite a threat, but it is Messi saying ‘hey, it would have been cool to sign Neymar and a few other players this summer, you know.’

Neymar didn’t arrive, because the deal just wasn’t financially viable for Barcelona, and although Antoine Griezmann was bought, there’s no doubting that Liverpool and Manchester City are the favorites to win the Champions League this season. Barcelona will be very good, but can they win a treble? Eh. Maybe not.

Maybe Messi is frustrated that he has only won the Champions League title four times during his illustrious career and that Barcelona have only reached one semifinal since 2015. He certainly seemed frustrated when he was sent off during the Copa America this summer, and maybe something is bubbling up here.

Messi also talked about contract negotiations not currently being happening between his father, who is his agent, and the club, as his current deal is due to expire in the summer of 2021.

All of this is a little cryptic from Messi and fresh from reports that Inter Miami CF want to talk about bringing him to Major League Soccer maybe, just maybe, there is life after Barca for the Argentine superstar.

After spending his entire career at the Catalan club it would certainly be weird to see Messi suiting up for another club team.

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