Barcelona Legend Lionel Messi Admits Worry About Moving Back to Argentina After Retiring

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has admitted that he harbours concerns over a permanent return to his country Argentina.

The forward left his hometown of Rosario as an 11-year-old to join Barca’s academy, going on to become one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen. 

19 years and five Ballon d’Ors later, with retirement possibly on the horizon, the 30-year-old says he has no idea what he will do or even where he will live after calling curtains on what has been a tremendous career.

“Everyone says it is very difficult and I have no doubt about that,” he said on America TV’s La Cornisa (H/T Diario AS).

“It is very difficult not to have the routine of training, playing. I do not know what I’m going to do, where to live.

“I would like to do everything that I could not, but I do not know if it’s going to be in Barcelona, Rosario. I do not know what I’m going to do.”

Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga

The player also implied that he’s a bit fearful to move back to the South American country, given the high crime rate, expressing sorrow over the social state of his nation.

“I suffer and I feel sorry that today Argentina is as it is,” he continued. “The reality of the country, the insecurity.

“I look at the future, I think about being able to return to Rosario and enjoying my city because I could not do so as a kid, I had to come here, something I do not regret, but I’m worried. 

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“Robberies are all over the world, but it’s crazy that something more could happen to you. I know it’s impossible [these days], but I remember that I went out all day to the street and nothing would happen.”


Barcelona 2-0 Athletic: Alcacer & Messi Ease Barca to Victory With Scintillating First Half Display

Barcelona extended their unbeaten Primera Division home run to 31 games on Sunday afternoon as they eased past Athletic Club 2-0 inside an 83,000-strong Camp Nou. 

Strikes from Paco Alcacer and Lionel Messi placed the hosts in a comfortable position during a sensational first half display which could have feasibly seen the Catalonians command a much greater advantage.

However, following a measured second 45, which saw the tempo sucked out of the contest, Barca were again unable to force the scoreline to truly reflect their supremacy, although the champions elect extended their points buffer over Atletico Madrid to 11 points – with Diego Simeone’s side visiting Villarreal later in the afternoon. 

Ahead of the contest, Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde claimed his side were down to the “bare bones”; however, that did not stop the hosts asserting their dominance early on, with Alcacer making their pressure count inside eight minutes. 

A pedestrian-paced, but measured buildup eventually found its way to Jordi Alba on the left-hand side before the Spaniard slid in his low cross which the second-string frontman, in for the suspended Luis Suarez, latched onto with a simple side-foot from 12 yards to give Barca the advantage.

And Barcelona’s lead was inches away from being doubled moments later; after Alba thought he had added another assist to his account as he fed Philippe Coutinho via a volleyed knockdown, only for the Brazilian’s rocketed effort to rattle the underside of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s crossbar and eventually roll away to safety.

However, as the stroke of the half-hour came, as did Blaugrana’s deserved second; thanks to a typically scintillating strike from Messi. 

The Argentine was fed with a beautifully weighted pass from Ousmane Dembele, with the driven ball cutting out three Athletic defenders en route to the 30-year-old, before the maestro’s leathered attempt from the edge of the area flew into the bottom right-hand corner of Kepa’s goal to mark his 25th of the campaign.

After extending their advantage, Barca continued their dominance, with Coutinho’s hitting of the woodwork for the second time of the afternoon swiftly followed up by Paulinho being denied via the same obstacle. 

But, despite their overwhelming dominance, and some simply sensational football, Valverde led his side into the dressing room at the break with just a two-goal advantage. 

As the second half passed by, the hosts struggled to find their levels from the first, with Athletic seeing more of the ball in opposition territory; however, failing to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

And as the full-time whistle approached, the slow tempo continued, with Barca rounding off a comfortable afternoon at a canter to secure their fifth straight win across all competitions.  




Psychologist Explains Andre Gomes’ Difficulties at Barcelona After Brave Confession Last Week

The ?Barcelona community has shown its true colours this week with great support for Andre Gomes, the Portuguese midfielder who ?admitted last week that he has been struggling to cope with the weight of expectation at the Nou Camp.

Brought on against ?Chelsea in midweek as a substitute for Sergio Busquets, Gomes was greeted not with the hostile reaction which he has sometimes endured in recent weeks, but with a more welcoming reception that boosted his confidence and helped him to turn in a good performance.

Sports psychologist Oriole Mercade, speaking to ?Marca, sought to explain why Gomes was finding life so difficult at Barcelona.


“Gomes has been successful in the strategy of expressing his humanness,” explained Mercade. “The great demand of a club like Barcelona [makes things difficult].

“He has lost his flow. His movements have not been natural, they do not flow, and he is aware of what will happen if he does it badly, and he does not enjoy each moment.”

Gomes’ impressive performances for Valencia earned him a move to the Nou Camp in 2016, but that dream move has since turned into a nightmare which Gomes described as ‘hell’ in last week’s candid interview.

“He has lived his entire life with such talent,” Mercade continued. “He needs a psychological therapist, not a coach, for a strong intervention where he begins to work towards smaller objectives.

“Right now, he cannot get away. So he has to start setting small targets, like entering the area or shooting at goal a certain number of times.”

?Barcelona confirmed that they had taken action in response to Gomes’ comments, while Busquets ?issued a rallying cry for his teammates to support the 21-year-old during his difficult times.

With Busquets sidelined for a few weeks, Gomes will get the opportunity to build on his encouraging midweek display, starting against Athletic Club on Sunday.

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?Neymar Demands Huge PSG Pay Rise As Report Outlines Reasons Why Superstar Is Thinking of Leaving

Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar has demanded an increase to his already eye-watering wage at the Parc des Princes, as another report from Brazil claimed to highlight why he is so unsettled in the French capital.

Neymar joined PSG from ?Barcelona last summer for a world record fee of £198m, and was handed an incredibly lucrative deal guaranteeing him £264.5m over the course of his five-year contract.

However, despite scoring 29 goals in 30 games for PSG, the Brazilian is reportedly unhappy with life in Ligue 1 and is ready to use ?Real Madrid’s interest as leverage for an improved deal.


?PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Enrique joined Neymar in Brazil for a presentation at the striker’s charitable foundation last week, but ?the Times claims the meeting had the ulterior motive of discussing the forward’s contract demands.

Meanwhile the Brazilian newspaper ?UOL Esporte have claimed that five months in Paris “have felt like five years” for Neymar, who feels that he suffers far rougher treatment from opposition defenders than he did in ?La Liga.

The statistics support this, with Neymar suffering an average of 5.2 fouls per game in Ligue 1 compared to an average of 3.5 per game during his four seasons in Spain. He has missed PSG’s last five games due to a hairline fracture in his foot.


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UOL went on to claim that Neymar is frustrated with the standard of officiating in France, having been sent off against Marseille back in October. The state of the pitches is another of his gripes, and one that other PSG players have complained about in the past.

Some of his concerns seem more trivial, such as the number of bus journeys that PSG take to away games and the fact that they stay in hotels before matches. 

However, rumours of Neymar’s apparent unhappiness at PSG and are refusing to go away, despite the united front his father and agent and PSG owner Al-Khelaifi put on in Brazil last week. If PSG cannot meet his latest demands, then Neymar’s eventful stay in France may be a short one.

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Ernesto Valverde Happy to Avoid Madrid & Sevilla in UCL Draw But Remains Wary of Roma Threat

Ernesto Valverde has admitted that Barcelona were hoping to avoid La Liga counterparts Real Madrid and Sevilla in the Champions League draw, yet doesn’t believe that La Blaugrana have been matched with easy opponents having done so, per Diario AS.

The Catalan side moved past Antonio Conte’s Chelsea on Wednesday, following up their 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last month with a 3-0 victory to progress with a 4-1 aggregate scoreline. And they are now set to face Serie A side Roma, who have made it to the quarter-final as well, following an impressive European campaign.


The Italian outfit topped their group last year, despite being matched with both Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. And Valverde has urged his players to err on the side of caution when the sides meet in the first leg of the tie on April 4.

He insists that he was keen to avoid getting drawn with Madrid and Sevilla because the teams are familiar with each other. However, he does appreciate that Roma will pose a huge threat too.

“Saying that there are easy draws in the quarter-finals is dangerous,” the manager said in his press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Athletic Club on Sunday.

“We didn’t want to play against Real Madrid or Sevilla because we know each other well. Italian teams are always dangerous, and Roma beat Chelsea and finished ahead of Atlético in the group stage.

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“They have a lot of potential. There are many reasons why it won’t be easy: their progress, their trainer, Monchi. Many reasons.”

Barca will hope to extend on their eight-point lead atop the Primera Division table on Sunday, with second-placed Atletico Madrid set to face Villarreal away. A win for the leaders, coupled with an Atletico loss, could all but wrap up the title race in Spain before Monday.

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