Lionel Messi signs new Barcelona deal until 2021

Argentinian likely to end career at the Nou Camp due to new €700m buy-out clause

Lionel Messi signs his new Barcelona contract alongside club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Photograph: David Saura/EPA

Lionel Messi signs his new Barcelona contract alongside club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Photograph: David Saura/EPA

 

Lionel Messi has signed a new deal with Barcelona through to the summer of 2021.

A renewal was agreed between player and club in July but it is only now that Messi has put pen to paper on the contract.

Announcing the deal, the LaLiga club added that the Argentina forward has had a €700 million (£626m) buy-out clause inserted into his contract.

That means, in all likelihood, the 30-year-old will finish his career at the Nou Camp and not, as has been reported for some time, move to Manchester City.

Messi, who made his senior debut as a 16-year-old in a friendly against Porto, has eight LaLiga titles, four Champions League wins and five Copa del Rey successes among his list of honours with the Catalan giants.

He is regarded by some as the greatest player of all time and the signing of his new deal means his Barca dynasty can continue apace.

Messi arrived at Barca from Newell’s Old Boys as a teenager in 2000 and made his first competitive appearance against Espanyol as a 17-year-old.

He scored the first of his club record 523 goals — they have come in just 602 matches — against Albacete in May 2005 and has since claimed the Ballon d’Or on five occasions, more than any other player.

On Friday, he was presented with his fourth Golden Shoe award for the top scorer in Europe, while his 30 titles put him alongside team-mate Andres Iniesta as the most in club history.

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