Messi reiterates stance to retire at Barcelona after making club history
Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to spend the rest of his career at Barcelona after becoming the club's all-time leading scorer.
The Argentina international surpassed the previous mark held by Paulino Alcantara with a hat-trick in Barca's 7-0 romp against Osasuna on Sunday in La Liga. The 26-year-old opened the scoring after 19 minutes to equal Alcantara's record of 369 goals in all competitions - including friendlies - before adding two further goals to complete his treble and set a new benchmark of 371.
And the four-time world player of the year has no plans to leave the Nou Camp outfit after helping the Catalan club become a dominant force at home and abroad. Messi is quoted by Fox Deportes as telling reporters after the game: "I intend to retire here at Barcelona.
"As long as people want me, I will stay, I am happy here."
Messi now wants to help Barcelona secure even more silverware, with the club through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and battling with Real Madrid and Atletico for the Spanish title.
He told Argentine newspaper Ole: "I am very proud at being in the history of such an important and big club. When you are close to reaching that number of goals, it's logical that you want to get there.
"The important thing is that this team keeps on making history, this group has been doing wonderful things, winning everything, and deserves to keep on doing important things."