Lionel Messi has experienced a few ups and downs over the past couple of years. The day to day business of being one of the world's top two footballers has sometimes seemed a distraction from heavy stuff outside of the game such as the situation with his tax. Injuries have at times ended that possibility of distraction and the pitch, where Messi would normally make everything alright, has on occasion brought frustration and sadness.
That's to see the darker side of Messi's situation. To simplify things he has to be content as such an amazing talent with an amazing life and a fortune which will serve his family for generations to come. Yet for the player himself, tough times will still feel tough and frustration still a cause of angst.
Messi should have left the World Cup feeling he'd done well. He was one of Argentina's best players as they got to the final, but his country lost and Messi faced criticism for being named the tournament's best player. An award he probably cared little for.
Argentine newspaper Ole have spoken to Messi ahead of the Portugal match at Old Trafford and go through many things. One of which is the pressure and criticism he's gone through. In Spain at times he's been on every front page of sport newspapers and most of the front pages of general newspapers, with claims about his financial irregularities. That, added to pressure form and Barcelona failing to win a trophy last season, will have built up negative feelings.
Ole asked Messi if he still saw himself finishing his career at Barcelona or had the media attention made him consider going elsewhere "No, today I live in the present. I want to make a great year and win titles with Barcelona. And nothing more."
All sounds good for Barcelona fans, but then Messi said "Then we'll see. Football takes many turns... While I always said that I would always stay there, sometimes not everything happens the way you want."
Those sentences will cause panic in the Catalan media as soon as they hit Spain. Messi isn't saying he wants to leave Barcelona but certainly not ruling out the prospect. Indeed Messi's comments hint that right now he doesn't think a Barcelona future is nailed on.
Messi added "Yes, I said it many times. That if I had my way I would stay forever. But as I just said, it's not always given that you get everything you like. More so in football, which is constantly changing and so many things happen. It's complicated."
Barcelona have just had the ball put in their court. Messi wants to stay but he isn't sure that will happen. Barcelona have repeatedly stated Messi is the best player in the history of the game, perhaps it's time for some more love to be sent his way.