Messi hopes for Ronnie stay
Argentine believes Barca should hold onto unsettled star
By James Dall. Last Updated: June 30, 2008 2:25pm
Messi: Ronaldinho plea
Lionel Messi has admitted he would 'love it' if unsettled forward Ronaldinho remained at Barcelona.
Ronaldinho is expected to depart Camp Nou this summer after the club confirmed he is not part of new coach Pep Guardiola's plans.
Manchester City have been granted permission to open discussions with the Brazilian, while Serie A side Milan have expressed their interest in securing his signature.
Ronaldinho's potential exit would follow a poor season for the two-time Fifa World Player of the Year after he struggled for form and fitness.
But Messi feels Ronaldinho still has much to offer Barca, and has urged the club to retain his services.
Best in the world
"Personally I would love it if Ronnie continued with us," Messi told El Mundo Deportivo.
"I have always said that he is one of the best footballers in the world and I believe that he can still do many things at Barcelona."
Ronaldinho, meanwhile, is keen to resolve his future as soon as possible, with the view to getting his illustrious career back on track.
"My time with Barcelona has been a marvellous story, looking at what we have won," the 28-year-old told Rete Globo.
"The supporters will never forget it. When I walk through Barcelona the people are very affectionate towards me.
"A lot of things have been invented about me but the fans have always recognised my hard work and professionalism.
"All that I ask now is to return to playing as soon as possible - it doesn't matter where.
"I want to do what I love most of all, and that is to play football."