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Stoichkov: I think Messi will retire at Barcelona

Former Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov is convinced that Lionel Messiwill see out the remainder of his playing days at the Camp Nou.

The Argentine will become a free agent in June and can begin to speak to clubs from January, while it is worth remembering that he faxed in a transfer request last summer, albeit while Josep Maria Bartomeu was still president of the club.

Yet, the Bulgarian doesn't see Messi going anywhere.

"I think Messi is going to retire at Barcelona," Stoichkov told Radio MARCA.

"There has been a lot of talk about him, but I don't believe 99.9 percent of it."

Stoichkov, who appeared on Radio MARCA in order to publicise his autobiography, recognised one name who played a key role in him joining Barcelona as a player back in 1990.

"There were a lot of people behind my move to Barcelona [from CSKA Sofia]," he said.

"But I will always be grateful to [Josep Maria] Minguella for taking me there."

There are multiple stories from his time in Catalonia in the autobiography, but Stoichkov recalled one which featured a young Ronaldo Nazario.

"The first day that Ronaldo arrived, he asked me if we had training the next day," he explained.

"I lied to him; I said no and he had to pay for a meal for all the players."

The 1994 Ballon d'Or winner spent two spells at Barcelona, first from 1990 to 1995 and then from 1996 to 1998, during which time he won 13 trophies, including one Champions League and five LaLiga Santander titles.

Source: Marca / Víctor Manuel Sánchez

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