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Why Copa del Rey victory could make Lionel Messi stay at Barcelona

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's contract will run out at the end of the season
ANALYST

Even from afar, you could tell how special it was for Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey. For a club that went trophyless last season, laying hands on silverware once again meant everything.

One of the most iconic moments of the night was, however, reserved for the last. Lining up in a queue, the Barcelona players took turns to take pictures with Lionel Messi and the trophy.

From Oscar Mingueza to Sergino Dest to Frankie de Jong to Pedri, everyone wanted to have a piece of the Argentine magician to ensure this historic occasion ends up framed and kept somewhere special.

With a smile on his face, Lionel Messi obliged them all. It was the perfect depiction of how adored he is inside and outside of Barcelona โ€“ to the extent that even his teammates who see him day in and day out relished and cherished such a moment.

Lionel Messi wins 7th Copa del Rey

The last few months have been really testing for Lionel Messi and Barcelona. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner appeared to have fallen out with the club ahead of the start of the season, but things are gradually looking up.

On Saturday, Messi won his seventh Copa del Rey and did so by dominating the final against Athletic Bilbao. He was completely unplayable, scoring twice in an emphatic 4-0 win against the Basque club.

As he led Barcelona to their first trophy in almost 24 months, Messi also reached a personal milestone. He has now surpassed Telmo Zarra as the all-time leading scorer in the Copa del Rey final with 10 goals.

When Messi ticks, Barcelona tick and itโ€™s hard to beat them when the Argentine is in form. He may be 33 but Saturdayโ€™s performance is yet another piece of evidence that Messi is far from finished and is still the most important player at Barcelona.

Barcelonaโ€™s resurgence could make Lionel Messi stay

At the start of the season, there was no doubt that Messi was bent on leaving Barcelona. However, a lot has changed since then and he could change his mind.

The election of Joan Laporta has seen a massive shift, with the club now on a path to resurgence. There seems to be a plan now and things are beginning to fall into play on and off the pitch too. The message on Barcelonaโ€™s T-shirts for celebrating the cup win read: "The first of a new era.โ€

Even better, Lionel Messi appears happy with how things are going. Not only has Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, but they are also in the title race in La Liga.

"Leo is the best player in the world. He's very attached to this club,โ€ Laporta said following Barcelonaโ€™s latest trophy win, as quoted by Marca.
"I'm convinced that he wants to stay and we'll do everything in our power so that he stays. Today, we saw that he's surrounded by a great team. They played some very good football."

Lionel Messiโ€™s contract will end in the summer but he could yet stay, especially with Barcelona back challenging for trophies.

He wanted to leave due to a lack of ambition from the club, but if that is being sorted out, it gives him every reason to stay.


Fabrizio Romano has joined Sportskeeda. Check Here!

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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