Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona for the rest of his career, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Messi’s current Barça deal expires in June 2021 and he has been linked with a romantic return to former side Newell’s Old Boys recently. A number of other destinations have also been mention, though none of these rumours have ever been substantiated.
Despite this speculation, Bartomeu revealed he was confident Messi would continue to ply his trade at Camp Nou for the next several years.
“It’s not just me who says it. Messi says it himself, that he wants to finish his professional playing career at Barcelona and it’s the only club for him,” Bartomeu told beIN SPORTS (via AS).
“I don’t have any doubt that when he finishes his football career in three or four years that it will be here in Barcelona.
“Messi has it very clear. He’s been here since he was a kid. He knows the colours and he’s a part of the club’s history. He’s the best player in the world. Not just right now, but in the history of the game. He’s at Barcelona and has made clear he wants to stay here.”
On a personal level, Messi enjoyed another scintillating season, even though his team’s performance as a whole was largely underwhelming. Barça surrendered the La Liga title to Real Madrid and failed to win the Copa del Rey. Their Champions League fate also hangs in the balance, after they drew 1-1 with Napoli in the first leg of the two sides’ round of 16 meeting.
Quique Setien’s squad needs rebuilding but one player Blaugrana will be desperate to keep hold of is Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The German keeper has just two years remaining on his current deal and Bartolomeu insisted that the club are working on an extension.
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Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa