Lionel Messi has rejected the notion that he has to leave Barcelona in order to cement his footballing legacy, insisting that it would be "very difficult" to move away from the club after 18 years in Catalonia.
The Argentina international is widely considered as one of the best players of all time. However, critics of the 30-year-old claim that he still needs to prove his ability elsewhere in Europe - much like Cristiano Ronaldo did at Manchester United.
Messi has hit back at his doubters by claiming that he doesn't have to "prove anything to anyone" before the end of his career, while insisting that it would be unlikely for him to ever leave the Camp Nou.
"I don’t have to move to another team to prove anything to anyone," Messi told TyC Sports (via Sport). "It’s very difficult for me to leave Barcelona."
With Stoke relegated, Messi can now finally play in the Premier League with no fear of getting exposed on a winters night in January at all....— TheFooTypster (@TheFooTypster) May 9, 2018
Messi has made 636 appearances for Barcelona during his long career at the club, scoring 552 goals and claiming 245 assists since making his debut in the Catalan derby in 2004.
The Argentine forward has dominated European football, along with the aforementioned Ronaldo, over the last decade - with the last 10 Ballons d'Or' being awarded evenly between the two rivals.
Messi is adamant that he will not move away from Barcelona just to silence some of his critics, seemingly putting to bed the prospect of ever making a potential move to the Premier League.