Martino: Difficult for Messi to leave Barcelona

The Argentina skipper refused to commit his long-term future to the club on Tuesday, sparking renewed rumours that he could move elsewhere

Former Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino feels it would be very difficult for Lionel Messi to leave Camp Nou after rumours over his future.

The 27-year-old refused to commit his future to the club on Wednesday, hinting that he may leave Catalunya before he retires.

However, Martino, who is now the Argentina skipper’s boss at international level, feels that Messi has a bond with Barca and would find it tough to play elsewhere.

“When you see the connection he has with Barca, I think it would be very difficult for him to leave the club,” he said after Argentina’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Portugal on Tuesday.

“However, when you see the options out there in the world, the big teams where he would fit in perfectly, then I think it’s possible.

“But I definitely think he should be happy where he plays football.

“I’ve never spoken to him about the issue and everyone does what is best for themselves.” 

Messi has scored 11 goals in 15 games for his club in all competitions this season.