- Josep Bartomeu admits fear of losing Lionel Messi to retirement
- The Barcelona president says talks are ongoing to tie Messi with the club through life contract
- The Argentine has become a cult figure at Camp Nou since joining Barcelona as a teenager
Josep Bartomeu, Barcelona president, has admitted he is worried by the fear of losing club superstar Lionel Messi to retirement in the future.
The Argentine has played his entire club career with the Catalans since joining them as a teenager, with his first goal coming against Albacete in 2004/05 campaign.
He would later rise through the rank to become Barcelona's record goalscorer, winning La Liga titles and Champions League with the club.
The 32-yer-old recently beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to sixth record Ballon d'Or in Paris and hinted he was inching towards the twilight of his illustrious trophy-studded career.
"I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of withdrawal (retirement) is approaching," Messi had said.
The emotional speech, however, became a nightmare for Bartomeu who admitted he is worried on the day Messi will part ways with the club either by retirement or contract.
''I am worried about the day Messi retires," Josep Maria Bartomeu said.
''I would like him to sign another contract. He still has time ahead of him, we've spoken many times about it.
The Barcelona president further said Messi is being persuaded to extend contract which will see him spend the rest of his career with the club.
''He doesn't have any problem with continuing at Barca. I have no doubt that he will play here until he retires, that he's committed to the club.
"There are no doubts about him ending his career here and ending it when he wants," Bartomeu further said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Lionel Messi proved yet again why he should be regarded as the world's best after producing a spectacular performance against Mallorca in a La Liga tie.
Messi was recently crowned the 2019 Ballon d'Or winner, beating arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to win the prize a record sixth time.