Barcelona: Lionel Messi insisted he plans to finish his career at Barcelona after marking his return to action with two goals against Getafe in the Copa del Rey.
The Argentinian returned to Barca last week after completing the last stages of his recovery from a thigh operation in his homeland.
And he was back in action on Wednesday night, replacing Andres Iniesta in the 64th minute before finding the net twice in his side’s 4-0 first-leg victory. While the 26-year-old is synonymous with Barca, having joined the club in 2000, he has been linked with Paris St Germain.
However, he was unequivocal with regard to his future, saying: “I would like to finish my career at Barcelona.”
Wednesday night’s match was his first since he injured his hamstring in early November and he was pleased with his progress.
He said: “I took a long time away, I felt very well in training and I’m slowly feeling better. I went to Argentina with the intention of returning here at the beginning of the year and returning slowly to the team. I felt good physically, I didn’t feel any pain in the hamstring. I was very happy to be in my country. I worked well to get out of this. Now I’m looking forward to a great year.”
Barcelona’s next game sees them pitted against Atletico Madrid, second in the Primera Division on goal difference.
Messi was unsure of the extent of his involvement, saying: “We’ll talk to Tata (Gerardo Martino, Barca coach) and the medical staff to see what is decided for the next game.
“I always want to be on the field. I always want to help my team.”
“No one is irreplaceable. I watched the games at home and they were very impressive. Whoever plays in this squad they always respond to the challenge.”