Barcelona 'To Offer' Lionel Messi Lifetime Contract At Camp Nou
Lionel Messi is set to be offered a new contract at Barcelona as they look to ensure he ends his career with the La Liga champions.
Last week it was reported that the Argentine's current deal, which expires in two years, contains a clause which enables him to walk away from the club on June 30 June 30 of every season after turning 32 - a stipulation that both Blaugrana legends Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta had access to.
Messi turned 32 last birthday and so technically, had the option to leave in the summer window just gone, but of course he was never going to.
However, Barca are still keen on tying him down - with Mundo Deportivo saying that the club are ready to offer a deal that would see him finish his career and stay in Catalonia beyond his playing days.
Barca feel as though Messi isn't showing any signs of slowing down whatsoever and that he will still be his usual mercurial self even after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, at which point he'll be 35.
It's said that there is no great urgency to get negotiations boxed off as club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Messi's father Jorge hold a positive relationship.
Messi started out playing for boyhood club Newell's Old Boys and spent six years there before joining Barcelona in 2001.
Aged 13, Messi actually arrived at Barca in September 2000 and blew people away with what he could do with the ball at his feet.
But though he was promised a deal when he and his family headed back home, the decision on whether or not the Blaugrana would sign the Rosario youngster didn't come until December when several Barcelona officials and those with ties to the club had lunch.
His first contract was signed on a paper napkin in what is now one of the most important documents in the history of football.
This picture here is of a 13 y.o. Lionel Messi's first professional contract; on a paper napkin. Carles Rexach, Barcelona's manager, didn't have any paper nearby, but his urgency to sign Messi made him write the contract on a napkin lying around him.- Iconic Football Photos:tm: (@IconicFP) August 8, 2018
[14 Dec, 2000; Barcelona] #7 pic.twitter.com/vyhcTOiwbC
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has since gone on to score a ridiculous 419 goals in 452 games for the appearances, breaking countless individual records in 15 glorious years at the top level.