The former Blaugrana star expects exit talk to blow over, with there little chance of an all-time great being paired with Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A
Lionel Messi will not be making a move to Manchester City or Juventus, says Rivaldo, with the Barcelona superstar being backed to retire as a one-club man at Camp Nou.
Those in Catalunya have seen unwelcome exit talk surface around their talismanic captain.
Amid reports of Messi growing disillusioned with life at Barca, it has been suggested that he could be tempted to take in a reunion with Pep Guardiola in England or be paired with eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy.
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Rivaldo doubts that any deal will be done, with the Blaugrana legend expecting the current round of rumours to blow over.
He told Betfair: “I’m not buying the speculation about a potential Lionel Messi move from Barcelona at the end of the season.
“Honestly, I think he will end his career at Camp Nou. He has been one of us since he was 14-years-old. He has a big affection for the club and the club for him, so I don’t think he would benefit from leaving.
“I see him as a player of just one club, like Francesco Totti in AS Roma or Rogerio Ceni at Sao Paulo.
“It’s tough to conceive of the idea of watching Messi playing against Barca in the Champions League, so even if he leaves in the future I imagine him more outside Europe, in China or the MLS on a transfer motivated more by financial than sporting reasons.
“He hasn’t scored in his last three matches and many commentators are saying the problem at the club, following Messi’s criticism of Eric Abidal, is the main reason for that.
“But I don’t see it that way and think we’ll soon have Messi scoring again. The team has returned to winning ways, as we saw last weekend when they beat Real Betis 3-2.
“Messi provided his team-mates with two assists and that’s important as he plays a central role in Barca’s attack, with his passing skills crucial to generating good chances. His class is undeniable, so I don’t see reasons for concern.”
Rivaldo added on the landing spots being mooted for Messi if he does decide to take on a new challenge: “Manchester City are among the clubs being linked to Messi.
“The Argentinian attacker could play at any club in the world but, as Pep Guardiola said recently, Messi should continue at Barcelona.
“Other rumours mention Juventus as another possible club for Messi and there he could form a delightful partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo. That seems highly unlikely.
“Yes, it would be a pleasure to see two huge players playing together, but I don’t see it as a realistic move.”