Internet Desk: Putting an end to the recent speculation Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has signed a contract with La Liga giants Barcelona which goes until 2021. The Spanish club in a statement on Saturday announced that Messi has agreed to stay on till 2021. The Spanish giants had announced in the summer that Messi, 30, had committed his future to the club but the Argentine had not signed the new deal.
With his previous contract set to expire in 2018, there was speculation that the Argentina superstar could leave Barcelona.
The news come as a huge boost for the club ahead of its top of the table clash with Valencia in La Liga on Sunday. Barcelona are currently leading the La Liga points table with 34 points. Valencia are four points behind Barca.
In a statement released by Barcelona, it said, “FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi signed on Saturday morning a new contract that will keep the Argentinian superstar at the club through the 2020/21 season,”
“The buyout clause was set at 700 million euros ($835 million),” the statement added.
The contract between Barcelona and five time World Player of the Year is designed to avoid any repeat of Paris Saint-Germain’s capture of Neymar from Barcelona by paying the Brazilian’s 222 million euro buyout clause in August.
The club management has been under immense pressure to keep Messi. Club President Bartomeu was heavily criticised for his role in Neymar’s departure and a haphazard search for replacements in the final weeks of the transfer window.
Messi has helped Barcelona win 30 trophies, including eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.
The diminutive Argentine, who joined Barca at the age of 13, has also smashed 523 goals in 602 games to become the Catalans’ all-time top goal scorer.