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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Will Messi hang his boots after Qatar 2022?


Qatar’s PSG star Lionel Messi has addressed rumours on his alleged retirement plans.

Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi said the thought of retiring after World Cup Qatar 2022 has not crossed his mind, according to reports. 

“After all that has happened to me, I just live day to day, year after year. I do not know what is going to happen at the World Cup or after it. I am not thinking about it. What will be will be at that moment,” he told Catalan newspaper Sport.

However, the new Paris Saint Germain attacker expressed hopes of becoming Barcelona’s sporting director when he eventually retires. 

“I would love to be sporting director at some point. I do not know if it will be at Barcelona or not, or I will fill another role. But if there is a possibility, I would love to help the club,” he said.

Read also: PSG stars Messi, Neymar, Mbappe scheduled to kick ball in Qatar

“We will return to live in Barcelona, our life will be there, that is for sure,” he added, noting that “it is what both my wife and I want. I do not know if it will be straight after the end of my contract with Paris, but we will return to live in Barcelona.”

The six-time Ballon D’Or winner will be 35 by the time the World Cup 2022 takes place, however he will still be committed with the French Ligue 1 leaders till June 2023 — with a possible one year extension.

The legendary footballer joined PSG after a shock move from Barcelona in August, after playing for the club for his entire footballing career. The transfer was allegedly attributed to financial issues at the club. 

However, Messi said he “did everything I could to stay there”.

“Never at any point did they ask me to play for free. They asked me to reduce my salary by 50% and I did that no problem. We were willing to help the club. My desire and that of my family was to stay in Barcelona.”

Read also: Al Sadd’s Xavi kicks Barcelona transfer rumours to the curb

In recent weeks, Xavi Hernandez has also been rumoured to rejoin Barcelona. However, this was quickly stamped out by the Al Sadd manager who said he is focused on his current role in Qatar

“I am currently focused on my work with Al Sadd, and I cannot talk about anything else,” Xavi said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s match with Al Ahli in the Qatar Stars League.

Xavi is a long-time teammate of Messi during the glory years at Barca before each of them went their separate ways in 2015.

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