Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain was a “dream” scenario, according to Argentina team-mate Leandro Paredes.
Messi was heavily linked with the French giants, as well as Premier League side Manchester City, having handed in a transfer request at Camp Nou last year.
Messi ended up staying to see out the final year of his deal and recently became a free agent, though there has been little talk of a move away from Barcelona amid reports he is on the verge of signing a five-year extension.
Paredes talked up the chances of his compatriot making the switch to PSG earlier this year, but he accepts the superstar forward is now set to stay in Spain.
“Yes, there was a lot of talk at the club when it emerged that Leo could come to Paris,” he told ESPN. “It was a dream to imagine he could be with us next season.
“But hey, that didn’t happen. I hope he likes where he plays.”
Messi has spent his entire senior career with Barcelona, making 778 appearances and scoring a club-record 672 goals.
He was again hugely influential for Barca last season, finishing as LaLiga’s top scorer as he managed 38 goals and 12 assists across all competitions.
Taking all competitions into account, he created 117 chances for others and netted a goal every 110.32 minutes. Full-back Jordi Alba was next on the list of the most chances created for Barca in 2020-21, teeing up 85 opportunities.
Despite the speculation surrounding his club future, Messi carried his club form onto the international stage, inspiring Argentina to their first Copa America crown since 1993.
He scored four goals and provided five assists to win his maiden piece of silverware while representing his country.