Messi pledges future to Barcelona

AFP, Saturday 5 Nov 2011

Argentine star Lionel Messi has pledged his future to Champions League titleholders Barcelona and insists no amount of money could lure him away from the Spanish giants

Lionel Messi

The 24-year-old midfield maestro told German daily Bild he wants to finish his career with Barcelona.

"My plan is this: to play for Barcelona for the rest of my life," said Messi, before insisting no amount of cash could persuade him to leave.

"No, not money. I will go only when I don't think I am good enough or when the club doesn't want me anymore."

Despite having won the Champions League last season for the third time and having achieved the treble of Spanish league, Cup and Champions League with Barcelona in 2009, Messi said he still has a hunger for more titles.

"I want to win everything which I have already won and I want to get better," said the midfielder, one of the contenders for the Ballon d'Or.

Barcelona have already qualified for the knock-out stages of this season's Champions League after registering three wins and a draw in Group H, but Messi said one of the teams he considers a threat to their chances of retaining their crown is Germany's Bayern Munich.

The Spanish giants hammered Bayern 4-0 the last time the two teams met in the Champions League in 2009, when Messi scored twice, but the Argentine is still wary of the Bavarians, who are top of Group A, and are desperate to appear in a final that will be played at their own stadium next May.

"It's a great team. They are stronger than last year," he said, having scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 Champions League win at Czech side Plzen on Tuesday.

"Above all, the Champions League final is played at their stadium, which gives them an advantage."

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