Lionel Messi insists he has no intention of leaving Barcelona

Lionel Messi has denied that he demanded Barcelona sack their manager, Luis Enrique, and says he has no intention of leaving the club, describing reports linking him to Chelsea or Manchester City as “lies”.

At the end of a week of crisis Messi broke his silence on the club’s TV channel after Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Atl├ętico Madrid.
“I have never demanded anything to stay because I don’t have any intention of going,” he said. “I heard people say that my dad had spoken to Chelsea, to City … it’s all lies.”

“I heard all sorts of things said. I never come out and deny [stories] but this time I am. It has been said that I have pushed out lots of people … Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Guardiola … [and] I didn’t ask them to sack our manager.

“It’s not good for people to look for rivalry between me and Luis Enrique because there isn’t any,” Messi added.

“It hurts because it comes from people who [supposedly] love Barcelona. It’s people who want to hurt the club – and this time it did not come from Madrid, like other times, it has come from here. I have heard lots of things being said about me before and now. They make it look like I am the one who is in charge here when I am just another player.

“Don’t throw shit at us from outside because that will only do us harm.”
Credit: Sid Lowe/Guardian Sport