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'Messi Will Win Champions League With PSG & Retire at Barca': Argentine Icon Riquelme's Bold Claim

Lionel Messi and Neymar during training
© REUTERS / PASCAL ROSSIGNOL

Argentina skipper Lionel Messi ended his 21-year-old association with his boyhood club Barcelona last month. The 34-year-old football superstar made his Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) debut during the weekend after signing a $83 million two-year deal with the French club.

Iconic Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has backed six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi to "win the Champions League with PSG".

Messi's arrival at the Parc des Princes has boosted PSG's formidable attack, which is one of the sharpest in world football, with French striker Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian superstar Neymar completing the trident.

Acknowledging the weight of expectations on Messi's shoulders, Riquelme even believes that if the French club fails in its pursuit of Europe's premier tournament even with the Argentine captain in their team, they will never win the Champions League.

On the other hand, the 43-year-old midfielder claimed that Messi hasn't ended his relationship with Barcelona; he is quite sure about his return to Camp Nou in the near future.

Riquelme went as far as to say that Messi will "retire at Barcelona".

"I hope that Messi goes on to enjoy Paris. I don't know if it's strange, but we are all excited to see him enjoy playing with [Kylian] Mbappe and Neymar," Riquelme told ESPN on Friday. "If they don't win the Champions League now, they won't win it."

"I think Messi will win the Champions League with PSG and retire at Barcelona," he added.

If Messi does return to Barca, the move would not surprise many in the football world, considering he was on the verge of signing a new deal with the La Liga club. But their mounting debt and financial situation didn't allow them to register his contract.

Like his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who rejoined Manchester United recently, Messi would also be 36 by the time his PSG contract expires and the possibility of him returning to the club, which has given him all the love and respect over the years, can't be ruled out.

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