Recently retired Newell’s Old Boys defender, Gabriel Heinze has suggested that Lionel Messi will follow his example and return to play in Rosario at the end of his career. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player spoke glowingly of his time back in Argentina and believes Messi will follow suit when he calls time on his Barcelona playing days.
Heinze spent the last two years of his career with Newell’s, winning the Torneo Final in 2013 and coming close to Copa Libertadores glory in the same year.
Speaking of Messi’s potential future plans, the 36-year-old said: “Messi will retire at Newell’s, there’s no need to convince him of anything. I don’t see him wearing any other shirt in Argentina than that of Newell’s and he will retire at Newell’s. I had played very few games in Argentina and never thought of going back there to finish my career. But the last two years I spent with Newell’s Old Boys were the best of my life.”
Messi was part of the Newell’s youth system before departing for Barcelona at just 13 but has always made no secret of his support for his hometown club.
Of course, this is unlikely to happen for a good number of years as Messi stands on the brink of breaking the La Liga goal scoring records and will no doubt have added even more to his glittering CV by the time this is a possibility.
Gabriel Heinze provided an excellent example of how players can extend their careers when they appear over in Europe. Heinze was deemed finished after his spells with Marseille and Roma but returned to Newell’s to establish himself as one of the Primera División’s top defenders.
The prospect of seeing Messi, even an ageing, past his best Messi, back in Argentina is mouth-watering and following the announcements of Sergio Agüero and his intention of return to Independiente and Ángel di María to Rosario Central, it could be an exciting time in the Primera in the not too distant future.