Messi will finish career at Barcelona, says club president

Messi and his father had begun discussing renewing Messi's last deal with the club, which was signed in 2017, but they no longer wish to advance the negotiation, according to the Cadena Ser report.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that captain Lionel Messi will end his career at the Catalan club, dismissing a report saying the Argentine no longer wishes to renew his current contract when it expires next year.

“Messi has said he will end his working and footballing life at Barca,” Bartomeu told Spanish network Movistar after his side beat Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday in La Liga.

“I'm not going to explain the details because we are focused on the competition and we are negotiating with many players but Messi has explained to us that he wants to stay and so we're going to enjoy him for much longer.”

READ| La Liga: Barcelona keeps title hopes alive with defeat of Villarreal

The 33-year-old Messi, who signed his last contract in 2017, has become more outspoken against the club's hierarchy in the last year and radio station Cadena Ser said last Thursday he is unhappy with how Barca is being run and wants to leave in 2021.

The win against Villarreal kept Barca in the title hunt with La Liga leader Real Madrid, which holds a four-point advantage after beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a late penalty by Sergio Ramos.

The spot kick was awarded following a VAR review while Athletic had its own penalty appeal turned down and Bartomeu said the technology was not being applied fairly since the season resumed following the novel coronavirus stoppage.

READ| Messi unwilling to renew Barca contract past 2021: report

“I saw the game in Bilbao and although I don't like to say it, I'll repeat that VAR is not being used as it should be,” added Bartomeu.

“Since the season returned after the COVID-19 crisis it has not been equal, that has been reflected in the results and it looks as if it always favours the same team.

“VAR should be there to help out the referee but in the last few weeks everyone has been able to see the instances in which it has not been used fairly.”

Real coach Zinedine Zidane said he was tired of his side's winning run being put down to marginal decisions going their way.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos