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Barcelona Say Lionel Messi Contract Renewal Will Be 'When He Decides'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 2: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona  during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Valencia at the Camp Nou on February 2, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu will let Lionel Messi decide when to extend his stay at the Camp Nou.

Messi last put pen to paper on a contract with Barca in 2017 to secure his future at the club until 2021, and Bartomeu is happy to let the Argentinian dictate when he does so again.

He told Cadena Cope (h/t ESPN's Samuel Marsden): "Messi's contract is up in two years but, given how he's playing, we will have him for many more years. Leo's intelligent, he knows how to measure things. If he feels good, he will tell us. When he decides, we will renew his deal."

Monday marked an important anniversary in Messi's storied career:

B/R Football @brfootball

🐐 numbers. https://t.co/qamZ6YJgCI

The Argentinian is now 31, but he is showing little sign of slowing down this season. He has scored 29 goals in just 27 matches in all competitions, as well as contributing 17 assists for his team-mates.

His longevity at the pinnacle of the game has been incredible:

OptaJose @OptaJose

11 - Lionel Messi is the only player in LaLiga history to score 20+ goals in 11 consecutive seasons (21 goals in 2018/19). Celestial. https://t.co/gfPbQpZDdY

Messi is not only Barcelona's biggest source of goals, but he's also their most creative playmaker, and his dribbling and passing are almost unrivalled.

Given he's comfortably their most important player and still producing world-class performances virtually every week, it's imperative Barca retain him even as he enters the twilight of his career.

The Blaugrana captain has played a key role in an enormous amount of success for the club, though, including nine La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League trophies.

As such, he has earned the right to choose for himself when to commit to what could be his last contract with the club.  

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