Messi: 'I don't know where I will be next year'

Lionel Messi of Argentina

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi raised eyebrows when he said in passing yesterday that he did not know where he would be next year.

Messi was asked during a press conference ahead of the Ballon D'Or Player of the Year ceremony if he wanted to finish his career at Barcelona or at Argentina's Newell's Old Boys in his hometown of Rosario.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen, whether I'd go to Newell's," he said. "I don't know where I'll be next year although I've always said I want to end my career at Barcelona but...nobody knows what the future holds." Messi said on Sunday night that he had denied asking for coach Luis Enrique to be replaced or that he is seeking an exit from his boyhood club.

"I haven't asked for anything to stay here because I have never wanted to go anywhere else," Messi said after Sunday's 3-1 La Liga win over champions Atletico Madrid.

The Argentina and Barca captain was responding for the first time to widespread reports of a falling out with Luis Enrique, who took over from Messi's compatriot Gerardo Martino at the end of last season.