Lionel Messi news: Barcelona might be in the process of drafting a lifetime contract for club captain
What's the story?
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi could be offered a lifetime contract at the club that will keep the diminutive forward at Camp Nou for the rest of his playing career, as hinted by the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu in a recent interview.
In case you didn't know...
Messi has a clause in his contract with the LaLiga club that allows him to part ways with them as and when he desires. His current contract expires in the summer of 2021, by which time he will be 34 years old and would've completed two decades with the Catalans.
Former captain Andrés Iniesta put pen to paper to a similar lifetime contract in 2017, but he then went out to play for Japanese side Vissel Kobe.
The heart of the matter
In a recent interview with Associated Press, Barca president Bartemou discussed about the future of the club in a post-Messi era. He reiterated that the Argentine remains the key figure at the club for at least the next two to three seasons, saying:
“Over the next two or three seasons our leader will continue to be Messi."
"However, there will be other young players coming in. Some will come from abroad, some will come from La Masia. We are content because we are preparing for the post-Messi era."
Bartemou also went ahead and compared the current club captain to the legendary Pele, highlighting that the Brazilian was a one-club man and how Messi could also end up being like the former. He continued:
"Pelé was a man from only one club [in Brazil]... [and] I have no doubt that after Messi ends his career as a footballer, he will remain linked to this club for the rest of his life."
Luckily for the Spanish club, Messi recently made a U-turn of sorts by claiming that he might not move back to his boyhood club Newell's as he is well settled in Spain now. That said, it should be noted that the player had earlier stressed he doesn't want to be bound by a lifetime contract.
Barcelona still remain heavily dependent on the Argentine for results. It remains to be seen how far he can carry them this season, after disappointment in the UEFA Champions League last term.
After winning The Best FIFA Men's Player award, Messi remains the top contender for this year's Ballon d'Or as well, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk.