Lionel Messi Talks Future, Says Love for Barcelona 'Goes past …


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Lionel Messi eased concerns over his Barcelona future on Monday after he won his sixth Ballon d’Or. 

The Argentinian’s contract at the Camp Nou expires in 2021, and Messi said of the situation: “The people at the club know me. They know there’s no problem beyond what the contract says. What I feel for this club goes beyond any signature or any role. So there isn’t a problem.”

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Lionel Messi Talks Future, Says Love for Barcelona 'Goes Beyond …

About Future,

He also discussed retirement and suggested he has some way to go before hanging up his boots: “I’m 32 already and on my way to 33. I said a long time ago that it all depends on how I feel physically. But today I feel better than ever on a physical and personal level, so hopefully I can stretch it out a lot more.”

The Spanish Football Podcast relayed further comments from him on the matter:

Lionel Messi Talks Future, Says Love for Barcelona 'Goes Beyond …

Grup 14’s Rafael Hernandez expects him to enjoy plenty more years at the top level:

Messi’s victory on Monday means he now stands alone when it comes to Ballon d’Or victories.

He had been level with longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo on five, with the pair having surpassed the previous record of three, which had been jointly held by Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff.

Ronaldo—who finished third behind Messi and Virgil van Dijk—did not attend the ceremony in Paris.

The Juventus man instead collected an award in Italy:

He did not attend FIFA’s The Best awards in September, either, in which he missed out on the men’s gong to Messi.

Messi did not want to make an issue of his absence, though: “He’s not here because he couldn’t be here. It shouldn’t be twisted. We enjoyed a great gala.”

Despite being 32, the forward is showing little sign of slowing down with age.

He bagged 51 goals and 22 assists for Barcelona in 50 appearances last season. In this campaign, he’s found the net 11 times and set up a team-mate on eight occasions in 14 games.

Messi scored the decisive goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid:

That he has little more than 18 months remaining on his contract may well be a source of worry for the club and supporters alike.

It seems he’s committed to remaining there, though. Given he’s helped Barcelona win 10 out of a possible 15 La Liga titles since his debut for the club in 2004, keeping him at the Camp Nou is paramount.

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