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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Lionel Messi reaffirms desire to return to Newell's Old Boys before retirement

Argentina forward Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to play for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before retiring from football.

Messi, 29, left the Argentine club at the age of 13 and went on to become one of the most decorated players for Barcelona, winning the Ballon d'Or five times.

Despite his success in Europe, Messi still has a soft spot for his childhood club and has spoken several times about his plans to return before calling it a day.

"I would love to [return]," Messi told Telefe's Polemica en el Bar. "It is something I have kept an eye on because it was my dream as a child.

"Obviously my life started to change and went another way, but I have no regrets.

"It's something I have kept an eye on. I want to play in Argentine football and Newell's, where I grew up."

The club have never hidden their desire to bring Messi back to the club, and in August, Newell's vice president Cristian D'Amico said that a future deal could be in place to bring the striker back home.

Argentina striker Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scored the only goal in Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay.

Having announced his retirement from international football after losing out to Chile at the Copa American Centeranio, Messi made a u-turn and starred for Argentina in their 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay last week.

"It's what I felt at that time," he added. "At that time, everything collapsed around me because we all felt that was the moment, because of how the team were and how we played each game.

"We all want to win. I have been fighting with the Seleccion and my dream is to win something.

"To get so close and not make it was a huge frustration for all of us.

Despite his new-found commitment to the national team, Messi is likely to miss the game on Tuesday against Venezuela through a groin injury he suffered in the last match.

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