• Lionel Messi wanted to leave Barcelona in the summer of 2020
  • Messi has described Bartomeu's reign as a disaster
  • Messi says he wants to experience the league in the U.S.

Lionel Messi has expressed his desire to play in the U.S. and experience life there but wants to eventually settle in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Messi, whose current deal with Barcelona is set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, is still not sure what is in store for him in the future. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner can begin to negotiate with other clubs from Jan. 1, 2021.

The speculations about his future at Camp Nou have been severe since the Barcelona skipper handed a transfer request to the Catalans in the summer of 2020. However, he chose to stay at the club because Barcelona were firm that any club wanting to sign him had to meet the player’s enormous release clause of $834 million.

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm going to wait until the season ends. I would like to play in the United States and experience life and the league there but ultimately come back to Barcelona in some capacity. Right now the most important thing is to focus on the team and finish the season well, to focus on trying to win trophies and not get distracted by other things, " Messi said in an interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta, according to BBC Sport.

It was earlier reported that Inter Miami of Major League Soccer (MLS) could bag the dream attacking duo of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when the stars decide to end their European careers.

Messi’s transfer request was as a result of Barcelona’s disastrous season in 2019-20, where the Catalans failed to win a single trophy – their first such instance since 2007. In the ongoing season, Barcelona are placed fifth in the La Liga table and are experiencing their worst start to a league campaign in as long as 33 years.

Since joining the Catalans when he was just 11 years old, Messi has gone on to become the club’s leading goal scorer, having netted 644 competitive goals for Barcelona since his senior debut in 2005. He recently surpassed Brazil legend Pele in the record of netting the most number of goals for a single club.

When Messi’s transfer saga was underway in the summer break, the Barcelona skipper did not hesitate to show his distress with the way then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu ran the club. As a result, Bartomeu resigned from the role in October.

Can Cadiz cause an upset against Lionel Messi and Barcelona?
Lionel Messi is the leading goal scorer of FC Barcelona AFP / LLUIS GENE

In the interview with the Spanish channel, Messi described Bartomeu's reign as "a disaster."

"It's a difficult moment for the club, for everyone, but those inside the club know that it's in a really bad situation, things are very bad, and it's going to be difficult to return the club to where it used to be," the 33-year-old player added.