5 reasons why Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona
Messi would be a free agent by the summer of 2018. What would be vital in keeping the forward at Camp Nou?
Lionel Messi, the five-time World Player of the Year, is nearing the end of his contract at FC Barcelona. Linked with moves to Manchester City, the talismanic forward's future has been making the headlines since last summer after what has transpired at Barcelona.
Many pundits have discussed the fact that Messi might move away from the club but the Board of Directors at the Catalan club remain firm over his longevity at the Nou Camp.
"I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi's throne – it's impossible, this kid is unique." - Pep Guardiola
The Argentina forward has made over 389 appearances for the club, becoming the all-time leading scorer of the club and the league in his 13 years at the first team. Messi moved to Barcelona back in 2001 and joined La Masia, the famed academy of FC Barcelona.
Making his mark early at the academy, Messi moved quickly up the ranks of the system and made his first-team debut in 2005. Since then, the Argentine has been an idol for many upcoming young forwards in world football.
Let's ponder over some reasons which are potentially bound to keep the forward at the club which made him a sensation...
#1 Ernesto Valverde
Under the new manager, Barcelona have arguably proven to be a better-balanced outfit than in the previous season under Luis Enrique. The Blaugrana were unable to defend their league title last season and after Enrique's departure, they went with the former Bilbao tactician.
After Valverde took charge of the club, Barcelona had a decent pre-season, winning the invitational tournament. They were beaten in the Super Cup by Real Madrid, but they have bounced back and have gone seven games without dropping a single point in the league and Champions League, taking them to the top of both the tables.
With Messi back in his tried-and-tested False 9 role, Barcelona are in serious contention for the Spanish League and Champions League titles. After a good start to the season, all the talk of a supposed turmoil has been put to rest for the time being at least.