Coach Ronald Koeman has once again emphasized the importance of Lionel Messi remaining for the success of Barca after FC Barcelona’s defeat for the championship after the 2-1 defeat on Sunday against Celta Vigo.
According to the coach, it is “impossible” for Barca to play without the Argentine superstar: “If Leo wasn’t there, we have doubts who should score the goals for us.”
Messi’s contract in Barcelona expires in the summer, after last season and as a result of Barca’s 8-2 disgrace against Bayern in the Champions League, the 33-year-old wanted to leave the Catalans after 20 years at the club.
In the end, Messi stayed because he did not want to provoke a legal dispute with his club of hearts over a contractual clause that might have allowed him a free farewell last summer. He revealed that in an exclusive interview with SPOX and Goal.
After the current season with only one title (Copa del Rey) and disappointments in the Champions League (round of 16 against PSG) and in the championship (3rd place), the question of the future arises again for Messi. Manchester City with coach Pep Guardiola and Paris Saint-Germain are still considered interested. There is no sign of a drop in performance for the Argentine: With 30 goals from 35 games, he is well on the way to securing the top scorer’s crown in Spain for the fifth time in a row.
The Times had recently reported that Barca had offered the Argentine a ten-year contract, which should also regulate cooperation beyond the end of his career. “Let’s all hope he stays with us,” Koeman concluded on Sunday.