After the Catalan side’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Barca TV: “Messi has said on several occasions that he wanted to end his career at Barca.
“(He) is still the best player in the world, and we have him with us … One cycle is coming to an end and another is starting but in the era of Messi.”
In July 2017, Barcelona and Messi announced a contract extension that would keep Messi with the team until June 30, 2021 and worth € 565,000 ($ 645,000) per week. Messi, 33, has been with the club since 2000.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner made his league debut for Barcelona in 2004. The Argentinian helped Barcelona win 10 league titles in his time at the club, as well as the Champions League on four occasions, and he is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Former Barcelona defender Carles Puyol, who was Messi’s captain and teammate, has tweeted his support for the Argentine. “Respect and admiration, Leo,” Puyol wrote. “All my support, my friend.
CNN has reached out to Barcelona for comment, but has yet to receive a response.