Lionel Messi may end up leaving Barcelona for MLS or China at some point in the future, says Rivaldo, but the Argentine superstar is not expected to link up with Serie A giants Inter.
Speculation regarding a move to Italy for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has resurfaced. Inter have been linked with Messi on a regular basis down the years, with the club’s former president Massimo Moratti stirring the pot with comments in which he claimed that a deal for the Nerazzurri is not a “forbidden dream”.
While those at San Siro may believe that an exit door could swing open at Camp Nou, Rivaldo doubts that a deal would be done with a European rival if Barca ever agreed to part with a talismanic presence – with Asia or America considered more likely destinations.
The Blaugrana legend told Betfair of the latest transfer talk: “Inter's president Massimo Moratti said this week that he could bring Lionel Messi to the club and resume his personal clash with Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy, but as I've said before I don't believe that the Argentinian would leave Barcelona for any other European club.
“I think he has no reasons to leave Spain, but if that happens one day then he could sign for a club from China or MLS, but only when he stops being so decisive for the Catalan outfit.
“Even if a move to Inter could be financially encouraging for the player, I suspect that wouldn't be enough to convince him and I think this is more like propaganda from Inter's president than a real possibility in the next transfer market.
“Of course, Inter is a big European club that have recruited excellent players in the past and managed to win some important titles, but I can't imagine Messi changing club while he is still at his best level at Barcelona.
“There were also rumours about potential interest from Manchester City, but their manager Pep Guardiola considers Messi to be where he should be and is still playing at a high enough level to help Barcelona very much.
“So, to sum up I consider that these are just rumours and believe Messi should finish his career in Europe after representing just one club. If he does leave, then it will be to China or a north American club where he can enjoy a different environment with not as much pressure and competitiveness.”
World Cup winner Rivaldo has stated on a regular basis that he expects Messi to remain a one-club man, with the mercurial Argentine already assured of a standing among the all-time greats.