Barcelona star Lionel Messi can leave the club at the end of the 2019-20 season if he wants to, stated Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. According to the Barca president, Messi has a contract till 2020-21 season but if the Argentine footballer wants to leave the Catalan club before that, he is free to do that.
In an interview with Barca TV, Bartomeu said that Barcelona offers such a clause to greats like Messi as they did to Xavi, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta. He further went on to say that Messi is one of those players who has the liberty to do what he wants even though the Catalan club wants him till 2021 and beyond that.
"Leo Messi has a contract through to the 2020/21 season, but the player is able to leave Barça before the final season," Bartomeu told Barca TV. "It's the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, [Carles] Puyol and [Andres] Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn't worry, as they are very committed to Barça. We want Messi to play for Barça through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm," he added.
The star footballer who is arguably considered as the best player to play the game of football has played throughout his life at the Catalan club. The 32-year-old star, who has a 700 million Euros release clause, is currently recovering from an injury and has not featured in the La Liga this season.
The dribbling genius who stands 5'7" tall has been playing for the first team of Barcelona since 2004. Messi has played 687 matches for the Catalan club and has scored 603 goals along with having 242 assists to his name.
Last season, the 32-year-old scored 51 goals from the 50 matches he played and also won the La Liga for the club. In his career span of 15 years with the Barcelona team, he has won 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles.
Messi has also won the Ballon d'Or award five times. In his absence, the current Barcelona squad are struggling in the La Liga as they have just four points in their kitty from the three matches they have played.
If the Argentine star leaves the Catalan side, it will be a huge blow to Ernesto Valverde and his men. The 32-year-old has been consistently contributing with a huge number of goals every season so to fill the void during his absence will be tough for the club.
However, if the Argentine star leaves the club he will probably go to PSG as the French team can afford him next season. He will not join the Chinese league or Japanese league so early even though they will be able to pay him the money as he will want to be associated with European football. He can also join Manchester City who can also afford him and the Argentine has his fellow compatriot Sergio Aguero playing there.
The biggest surprise will be if he joins Juventus and plays alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. That will be the dream come true for football fans all over the world. It will be interesting to see what the magician decides at the end.