Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is strongly convinced that Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona for the rest of his playing days.
The Italian gaffer made the assertion after watching the Argentine maestro destroy Chelsea’s Champions League hopes on Wednesday.
Messi, 30 hit a brace and set up a goal for Ousmane Dembele as Barca whipped Chelsea 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday for a 4-1 aggregate triumph.
The double took Messi to 100 Champions League goals while his opener, coming after 129 seconds, was the fastest goal of his illustrious career.
Messi has frequently been linked with a big-money move to the Premier League but Conte is convinced the striker will retire at Barcelona.
“I think Leo wants to stay until the end of his career with Barcelona,” Conte said.
“We’re talking about an impossible situation. I repeat: we must have great respect for this player. We are talking about a fantastic player.
“I think he wants to stay in Barcelona for the end of his career. I think it’s the right way for him. He’s writing with his team-mates a great story with Barcelona.”
After full-time, Conte left the field with a congratulatory arm around Messi’s shoulder but Chelsea had chances too, most notably through Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger, who both hit the woodwork.