ZURICH. — Lionel Messi insists he will NOT leave Barcelona this summer. The Argentine collected his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy in Zurich on Monday night as he pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to the prize.
He has enjoyed another incredible year — winning five trophies with Barca and scoring a staggering 48 goals.
However, there have been reports linking him with Manchester City and a possible reunion with Pep Guardiola, should he move to the Etihad.
But speaking at the ceremony, Messi insisted he has no plans to move to the English Premier League.
“I want to keep succeeding with the club,” said Messi.
“Now is not the time to think about whether this is (my) peak. It’s more important that we keep trying to win, that we work hard. It’s a lot to think about.
‘I’ve always said that (I can’t leave Barcelona). It’s always my response. I want to finish my career at home.
“My home is Barcelona. Football changes so much. A year ago, we were all getting criticised and we ended up winning nearly everything. My intention is to terminate my career where it started, in Barcelona.”
Messi was also named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, along with club-mates Neymar, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta.
Barca boss Luis Enrique was awarded the World Coach of the Year prize as the Catalan giants’ domination continued.
But it was to be no clean sweep as Brazilian Wendell Lira surprisingly pipped Messi to the Puskas Award.
30 international captains who didn’t vote for Messi
Mile Jedinak — Australia
Christian Fuchs — Austria
Joel Mogorosi — Botswana
Stephane Mbia Etoundi — Cameroon
James Rodriguez — Colombia
Baez Odalis — Dominican Republic
Vanche Shikov — Macedonia
Bastian Schweinsteiger — Germany
Humberto Ruiz Carlos — Guatemala
Amer Shafei — Jordan
Talant Samsaliev — Kyrgyzstan
Teah Dennis — Liberia
Safiq Rahim — Malaysia
Michael Mifsud — Malta
Oumar N’Diaye— Mauritania
Anthony Griffith — Montserrat
Mehdi El Moutaqui — Morocco
Yan Aung Kyaw — Myanmar
Jean Brice Wadriako — New Caledonia
Chris Wood — New Zealand
Juan Barrera — Nicaragua
Per Ciljan Skjelbred — Norway
Bossio Claudio Pizarro — Peru
Robert Lewandowski — Poland
Cristiano Ronaldo — Portugal
Scott Brown — Scotland
Saif Eldin Idriss — Sudan
Ali Khaseif Alhosani — United Arab Emirates
Diego Godín — Uruguay
Fenedy Masauvakalo — Vanuatu
Selected captains’ votes
Lionel Messi (Argentina) — Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta
Mile Jedinak (Australia) — Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Neymar
Vincent Kompany (Belgium) — Hazard, De Bruyne, Messi
Neymar (Brazil) – Messi, Suarez, Rakitic
James Rodriguez (Colombia) — Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale
Petr Cech (Czech Republic) — Messi, Lewandowski, Hazard
Wayne Rooney (England) — Messi, Muller, Ronaldo
Hugo Lloris (France) — Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) — Neuer, Muller, Neymar
Arjen Robben (Netherlands) — Messi, Neymar, Suarez
Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) — Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar
Robbie Keane (Ireland) — Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar
Scott Brown (Scotland) — Lewandowsi, Ronaldo, Muller
Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia) — Messi, Hazard, Neymar
Martin Skrtel (Slovakia) — Ronaldo, Suarez, Messi
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) — Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Michael Bradley (USA) — Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez — The Mirror.