Speculations surrounding Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona have been running rife ever since his public row with former teammate and current director of football at Barcelona, Eric Abidal. The Argentine superstar, who joined Barcelona at 13, is rumoured to leave the Blaugrana camp after 19 years at the club with Manchester City and Juventus tipped to be among the favourites for his signature. But Messi’s national team head coach Lionel Scaloni believes that the 32-year-old is comfortable at the Catalan club and won’t be leaving it anytime soon. “I see him (Messi) fine,” said Scaloni when asked about Messi’s future in Europe. Messi has a contract until 2021 at Barcelona but can leave the club for free next summer. Juventus Coach Maurizio Sarri Responds to Speculations of Lionel Messi Linking Up With Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi’s difference with Abidal first came to light after the Cancer survivor and now club director pointed fingers at some senior players of FC Barcelona blaming them of not working hard during Ernesto Valverde’s time at Camp Nou. Valverde has since been sacked and replaced with former Real Betis coach Quique Setien. And according to Abidal Valverde’s sacking in January had a lot to do with players’ attitude and work ethic. 'Lionel Messi Leaving Barcelona is not Impossible, Could Play With Cristiano Ronaldo,’ Says Ariedo Braida, Former Camp Nou Director.
But Messi hit back at his former teammate through his social media page and asked Abidal to not just point fingers but specify the names of players he thought did not work hard under Valverde. Since then, rumours have been doing rounds about the Argentine talisman’s unhappiness and has also raised doubts about his future at the club.
Scaloni, however, quashed all reports and said that he is not at all concerned about the 32-year-old’s future at Barcelona. "I see him fine. The other day, against Real Betis, he was the best player in the field without scoring. He gave the assist and participated of every chance,” Scaloni was quoted as saying by Goal. “He’s fine, he’s comfortable, he will have to decide on his future but I think he’s comfortable. I’m not worried at all. He’s comfortable, he’s comfortable at the national team and at Barcelona. Then what will come will come, I stay out of it.”
Meanwhile, both Scaloni and Messi are still chasing their first title with the Argentina national team. In his first assignment since taking charge, Scaloni’s Argentina were knocked out of the 2019 Copa America semi-final by rivals Brazil. La Albiceleste had also finished runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and successive Copa America editions in 2015 and 2016.
"I think the important thing is to try (to win the Copa America), that he knows we'll try and be protagonists," Scaloni added. "He is not the only one that wants to win something with the national team, we all want to win, the coach, his teammates, so well, we'll try and let's hope we can make it."
Messia, Scaloni and Argentina have another opportunity to clinch a silverware when they co-host this year’s Copa America along with Colombia. Argentina have been placed in Group A alongside Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and guests Australia.