However, Neymar has seemed unsettled in the French capital, and there has been widespread speculation all season long that he could return to Spain, but turning out for Madrid instead, although newly-appointed PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted the Ligue 1 champions’ star player will not be sold.
“It would be terrible to see Neymar at Real Madrid because of everything he means to Barcelona,” Messi told TyC Sports. “It would be a big blow for all the fans.”
Messi, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in history, if not the best, says he is more concerned about his current performance than his place in football’s honour roll.
“I’m not interested in being the best ever.
“I’ve never said that I am, not first, second, third, or fourth.
“Every time I start a new year I try to improve myself, win everything, leave everything on the pitch, and give all I have both for my team-mates and for myself.”
The 30-year-old has been part of White and Sky Blues sides that have finished runners-up on three occasions in the Copa America (2007, 2014 and 2016) and of course he was the mainstay during the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany.
Although, it’s worth reminding that Messi was named the FIFA Best Player of the Tournament in Brazil.
This time around, the nation will again rely on Messi to produce the goods and coach Jorge Sampaoli – who took charge in June 2017 – has been pleasantly taken aback by the maestro’s tactical influence and understanding.
“We were very surprised by what Messi knows about football (a lot),” the 58-year-old said of the Blaugrana icon, as reported by El Pais.
He added: “The first time you come to see him, you’re nervous, you do not know what you’re going to find, but he likes to talk about football and he understands the game very well. We asked him about Jordi Alba’s season, because we wanted Tagliafico to make similar movements. And when we expected him to tell us: ‘Well, there’s no Neymar and he has more spaces’, he jumped us with a tactical recital, if Iniesta does this, if Busquets the other … it’s a show (and so on).”
Argentina face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in World Cup Group D.
Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi won a legal battle on Thursday to register his name as a trademark to sell sports goods after an EU court ruled that he is too famous to be confused with other businesses.
The Argentine star, the world’s highest earning footballer, rode out a challenge by a Spanish cycling gear manufacturer called Massi, which had challenged his trademark on the grounds that it was too similar to its own.
“Lionel Messi may register his trademark ‘MESSI’ for sports equipment and clothing,” said a ruling by the General Court of the European Union, the bloc’s second-highest court.
“The football player’s fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities between his trade mark and the trade mark ‘MASSI’ belonging to a Spanish company,” the Luxembourg-based court said.
The ruling caps a seven-year legal fight since the footballer first tried in 2011 to trademark his name with the EU’s intellectual property office.
The boss of the Massi cycling goods company filed an appeal the same year, saying there was a “likelihood of confusion” with its own trademark, and the trademark office agreed.
Judges admitted that the trademarks “are very similar phonetically” but said the IPO was wrong to assume that Messi was only known by people who were interested in football or sport.
“Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio,” the court said.
The ruling comes days after it emerged that Messi has overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest earner in world football, according to France Football magazine.
The Barcelona attacker is making €126m in salary, bonuses and commercial revenue for the current season while his great Real Madrid rival is making €94m.