Barcelona’s Lionel Messi admits he still dreams of playing for Newell's Old Boys

BILBAO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the start the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona at Sa

Lionel Messi says he still harbours hopes of one day playing for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys but admits he "does not know where I'm going to be" in the future.

Speculation around the Argentina captain's future at Barcelona remains as Messi can start talking with other clubs in January with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau said the club would offer Messi a lifetime contract last month after he agreed a four-year deal in July, but the 30-year-old still has not officially signed the contract.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04: Lionel Messi (R) competes for the ball with Simon Kjaer (3L) of Sevilla FC and his team mate Steven N'Zonzi (R) during the
Image: Lionel Messi played his 600th game for Barcelona recently against Sevilla

Messi left Newell's for the Nou Camp when he was 13 but has now revealed that he would like to return to hometown Rosario before his career ends.

"The desire is always playing for Newell's, it is what I dreamed as a kid," Messi told Argentine channel TyC Sports.

"When I went to the club I imagined playing in the Primera Division, but I do not know what's going to happen in a few years.

BILBAO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring goal during the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcel
Image: Messi's current Barcelona contract is set to expire at the end of the season

"I cannot say I'm going back because I do not know where I'm going to be."

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Messi has also identified Spain as the one country he hopes to avoid in the group stages of the World Cup next year and said he counts the Spaniards, Brazil, Germany and France among his favourites for the competition.

Argentina's Lionel Messi (C) celebrates after defeating Ecuador and qualifying to the 2018 World Cup football tournament, in Quito, on October 10, 2017. /
Image: Messi celebrates after Argentina qualified for the 2018 World Cup

"I wouldn't like to be drawn against Spain, who are one of the rivals we could get in the draw," Messi said.

"For all that they stand for, for all that they have, I'd rather avoid them. They'd be a very difficult rival."

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