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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Lionel Messi ‘can leave’ Barcelona at the end of season, says club president

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a new four-year deal with Barca in 2017, but Bartomeu says he is free to end his contract beforehand.

football Updated: Sep 07, 2019 12:02 IST
AFP
AFP
File image of Lionel Messi.
File image of Lionel Messi.(Getty Images)
         

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Friday the Spanish giants are not worried about Lionel Messi’s future, despite the Argentinian star being able to leave the club at the end of the season. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a new four-year deal with Barca in 2017, but Bartomeu says he is free to end his contract beforehand. “Leo Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barca before the final season,” Bartomeu told Barcelona’s in-house television channel.

“It’s the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, (Carles) Puyol and (Andres) Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn’t worry, as they are very committed to Barca.

“We want Messi to play for Barca through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm.”

Messi, Barca’s record goalscorer, is currently out injured with a calf injury, with the team struggling in his absence, managing to collect just four points from their opening three La Liga matches.