Bartomeu: 'Messi will be linked to Barça for life'
The blaugrana president says in an interview with Associated Press that it will the wish of both parties to extend Messi's contract indefinitely
The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu has explained in an interview with Associated Press that although Leo Messi's current contract runs until 2021, the Club's intention is to extend the Argentine's contract indefinitely: "I have no doube that Leo Messi will be linked to Barça for life."
As such and before contemplating the retirement of the Barça number 10, Bartomeu revealed that he hopes the Argentine will still lead the team: "In the next two, three, four seasons our leader will still be Leo Messi. He can do it, he is still young and he is naturally in excellent shape. He is the best player there has ever been, he is with us and he has said that he wants to retire at Barça."
Leo Messi can keep playing at Barça as long as it suits him. He has earned the right to decide when to give up football
“Josep Maria Bartomeu
He added: "He said it not long ago and that is our wish. Leo Messi can keep playing at Barça as long as it suits him. He has earned the right to decide when to give up football."
Nevertheless, the Club president has recognised that the Club is now working on the post-Messi period and that he has confidence in the talent coming out of La Masia and also the young players who have been signed: "There are young foreign players who come and young players who come from La Masia and we are happy because we are getting ready for the post-Messi era."
As such, Bartomeu concluded has added that Club has a lot of confidence in players such as De Jong: "He is going to mark an era."