Lionel Messi: Luis Enrique calms talk of selling star man

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scored 49 goals in 53 games for Barcelona in 2014

Head coach Luis Enrique says a Barcelona side without Lionel Messi is unthinkable, despite speculation about the forward's future at the club.

Messi, 27, recently dismissed reports linking him with a move from the Catalan giants as lies.

But the Argentina captain conceded at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony that "nobody knows what the future holds".

"A team without Messi is not something we contemplate," said Enrique, who took charge of Barcelona last summer.

Messi, who is contracted until 2019, has spent his entire career at the Nou Camp, winning three Champions Leagues and six La Liga titles since making his debut in 2004.

He has also won four world footballer of the year awards during his time at Barcelona, but earlier this week lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo for the second year in a row.

Lionel Messi

When asked about the possibility of Messi winning a fifth Ballon d'Or while at the Catalan club, Enrique added: "I don't know what the future holds for us.

"We all think that Messi will be at Barca in the next few years and that is what all the fans want."

Messi's long-term future at Barcelona first came under the spotlight following reports of a training-ground row with Enrique.

However, the former Barcelona utility player denied suggestions of unrest behind the scenes, saying: "The changing room is united.

"We are running away from controversies and we are looking to find the best atmosphere possible.

"This is what we are looking for, even though we know that things on the outside can change within five seconds."

Top Stories