KEY POINTS

  • Messi has been with FC Barcelona for close to two decades now
  • His former agent does not believe that Messi will leave Barca
  • Messi's Barca currently are placed second in La Liga's points table

Lionel Messi’s former agent, Horacio Gaggioli, has insisted that while anything is possible in soccer, he is sure Messi will not leave FC Barcelona.

Ever since Messi slammed Barca’s sporting director Eric Abidal on social media for latter’s remarks against the players, there have been strong rumors going around in Spanish, Italian and Argentine media that Messi’s Nou Camp end is nearing.

Even though Messi is contracted until the end of 2021, his contract also has a clause that will allow him to leave Barca for free at the end of the ongoing 2019-20 season. However, a few media reports have also stated the particular clause will let Messi move only to a non-top five league.

Speaking about his former client in an interview, Gaggioli said, "In football, everything is possible. But I have many doubts that Messi wants to leave Barcelona. Leo knows that in this club, with this system and the players who have accompanied him to this day, he has grown up. If he were to leave, he would not be the same player.”

When Gaggioli was asked if former Inter president Massimo Moratti approached him with an inquiry about Messi when he was younger and still in Barcelona’s academy, Messi’s former agent replied, "It is true that Moratti’s enquired about him. When he was little, no club didn’t call me. Everyone did.”

Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic stopped Lionel Messi once, but the Barcelona striker then scored his second goal of the season Lionel Messi Photo: AFP / ANDER GILLENEA

The issue between Messi and Abidal started when the former Barca defender told a Spanish media firm that Barca’s players never worked hard when Ernesto Valverde was the club’s manager. Valverde recently was sacked by the Catalans when they lost the Spanish Super Cup semi-final to Atletico Madrid.

Messi responded to Abidal’s comments through a story he had put on his Instagram account.

“Sincerely, I don't like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions. The players [are responsible] for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven't been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and above all own, the decisions they make,” the six-time Ballon d’Or winner wrote.