Lionel Messi won’t leave Barcelona, contract extended till 2021: Reports

Lionel Messi’s stay at Barcelona means there would be no ‘reunion’ with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

football Updated: Sep 16, 2017 13:07 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Lionel Messi,Messi,Barcelona
Messi’s new Barcelona deal - understood to run until 2021 - reportedly contains a release clause of Euro 300 million.(AFP)

The rumours of Lionel Messi’s move to Premier League side Manchester City have been put to rest as the Argentinian star has reportedly extended his contract with Barcelona.

Messi’s contract extension also means that there would be no ‘reunion’ of sorts with Pep Guardiola, who is currently in charge at Manchester City, as a possible move to the former Premier League champions was being speculated widely.

With his contract set to expire next summer, Messi’s possible move to Manchester City was catching a lot of attention. The doubts had remained in prominence since Lionel Messi had not signed an extension with Barcelona, which according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, has been done now.

With Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu declaring that Lionel Messi has already signed a new contract, HT looks at the Argentine’s special journey at the club:
In 2001, at 13, Lionel Messi joined Barcelona’s under-14s and after initial struggles like homesickness, he made spectacular progress at each of the different age levels.
In 2003-04 he had already played for the senior team in a friendly when he was just 16. On October 16, 2004 he played his first official match for the senior team in a 1-0 win over Espanyol.
In May 2005, at 17 years, 10 months and seven days, he became the youngest player to score a league goal for the Catalans when he netted against Albacete.
LA LIGA: 8 (2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16)
COPA DEL REY: 5 (2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17)
SPANISH SUPER CUP: 6 (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 4 (2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15)
UEFA SUPER CUP: 3 (2009, 2011, 2015)
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP: 3 (2009, 2011, 2015)
FIFA BALLON D’OR: 4 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
HE WON THE BALLON D’OR and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 before the award was merged in 2010.

Several British media outlets have claimed that Messi’s father has signed a contract extension with Nou Camp, according to Bartomeu. Bartomeu reportedly told 8TV, “The official photo with the signature we will do, there’s no rush. The contract was signed by his father, as well as that of his foundation and his image contract. “He doesn’t need to sign it, his father already has. He is already playing with the new contract. There’s no better test to his commitment than to see him play.”

The new Lionel Messi contract is believed to be running up to 2021, and has a release clause of Euro 300 million.

Earlier, Bartomeu had claimed that Barcelona would never insist on a player staying at the club in case if he wanted to leave. He was quoted as saying by, “Barça will never make a player stay if he tells us that he wants to go, as it happens in other clubs in Europe. We have a way of being different from other clubs, we think the players are happy here to play and to perform.

“It is the same if the clause is 500, 600, 1,000 or 1,500, we can put the clause we want because if a player wants to leave, we will have to sit down and talk to him to see how we do. It is what we miss with Neymar, if he had done so, would have been better for everyone,” Bartomeu added.

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 15:54 IST