Lionel Messi will guide Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League, before retiring as a Barcelona player.
That’s the view of former Barca and Argentina midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme, who claims his compatriot will end his career with “his people”.
Messi shocked the footballing world earlier this summer, when it was announced he would be extending his stay at the Camp Nou.
The club’s all-time record scorer had agreed a two-year contract with the Blaugrana, but due to financial restrictions imposed by LaLiga, they were unable to complete an arrangement.
He then conducted an emotional press conference where he consistently referred to Barcelona as his ‘home’.
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Messi had been with the club since the age of 13 and looked destined to finish his career as arguably the most successful one-club man of all time.
However, with his chances of a Barcelona contract up in smoke, the 34-year-old quickly thrashed out a deal with PSG, signing less than a week later.
He made his debut for the French club last weekend, joining a squad which also includes Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel di Maria and Sergio Ramos.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a two-year deal at the Parc des Princes, with the option of extending that for another 12 months.
But Riquelme believes as soon as Messi helps PSG to a Champions League crown, he will be back with his beloved Barcelona.
“I am sure that Leo will retire at Barcelona. He will win the Champions League at PSG and then he will retire again with his people, in Barcelona,” he told ESPN.
“Hopefully Messi in Paris continues to enjoy himself. I do not know if it is strange, but we are all excited to see him enjoy playing with Mbappé and Neymar.
“If they don’t win the Champions League now, they won’t win it ever again, that’s the way it is.
“I think Messi will win the Champions League with PSG and retire at Barcelona.”
Of course, if Messi wants an example of sealing a return to his beloved club, he need look no further than his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Aged 36, as Messi will be at the end of his PSG deal, Ronaldo made the decision to move back to Old Trafford and Manchester United.
The Portuguese legend left Real Madrid back in 2018, completing three seasons with Juventus, where he failed to win Europe’s top prize – before returning to the Premier League 12 years after his initial departure.