With Messi’s contract coming at an end, it triggered an exit clause in his contract for a free transfer.
He had time till Sunday to notify Barca of his plans to leave the club. However, Sunday blew over and Messi didn’t leave – and so he will be staying at least till 2021.
“I’ve said many times that my plan is to stay and as long as the club and the fans still want that, from my point of view there won’t be any problems,” Messi stated firmly.
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu had spoken about offering a lifetime contract to Messi back in November 2019.
Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if he [Lionel Messi] feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely,” Bartomeu said.
“Ultimately it is he who must decide. He has earned the right to decide when he will stop playing football. But he wants to finish his playing career at Barcelona.
“Over the next two or three seasons our leader will continue to be Leo Messi. There’s no doubt that he is still young, still strong. He is still ambitious.
We’re sure none of his teammates want him to leave either. Jordi Alba in fact praised Messi’s enthusiastic spirit keeping the team alive during training.
“I’ve seen the team with a lot of desire,” he said.
“I think we’ve come back very well physically and mentally we’re in a better place than when we left.
“[Messi] is a vital player of us and we should enjoy having him all the time. Seeing Leo with the enthusiasm he’s come back with is contagious for the rest of the group.”