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Before the start of the game between FC Barcelona and Las Palmas, Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu made it clear from the directors’ box at the stadium that “Messi’s contract extension is essential for our Club.” Bartomeu attempted to send a message of confidence to fans, admitting “I have had conversations with Messi’s family and people so that he can continue here.” The blaugrana president went to assure everyone, saying “when there is news, I will let you know.”
Bartomeu reiterated his view that the Barça number 10 “is the best player in the world and the best ever.” For the president, Messi is ‘indisputable’ in the project and the Club “will do whatever it takes” to reach an agreement as Club and player “are looking for an understanding and it has to have a happy ending.” Bartomeu went on to assure that “there is no nervousness at the Club, only calm and people working responsibly.” “I have been at the Club since 2003 when Ronaldinho started this great era and that is continuing with Messi as he is taking us even higher,” admitted Bartomeu.
Questioned about the absence of the Barça players from the FIFA The Best Awards gala, Bartomeu explained the decision once again: “There was an important game against Athletic that we had to prioritise and FIFA understood that.” “At Barça we always put sporting matters first ahead of institutional matters and in the end we were proved right because the tie [against Athletic] was very tough.” Bartomeu also made it clear that relations between the Club and both FIFA and UEFA were excellent.
In conclusion, the blaugrana president said that he and Luis Enrique will not talk about the coach’s future until April: “We are focused on competing and training but we want him to stay with us.”