Lionel Messi Reaches New Deal With Barcelona FC: Report

By Jason Hall

July 14, 2021

La Liga 2020/2021, FC Barcelona - Celta de Vigo
Photo: Getty Images

Lionel Messi has reportedly reached a long-term agreement with Barcelona FC.

Messi, who spent the final four years of his youth career and entire senior career with the Catalan club, agreed to a five-year deal on Wednesday (July 14), just weeks after his previous contract expired, ESPN reports.

Messi's previous contract, which was worth more than €500 million ($594m) during a four-year span, expired at midnight on June 30.

The forward, who turns 35 later this month, was reportedly courted by Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City amid reports of interest in ending his 20-year relationship with Barcelona last summer.

The report came after Barcelona was defeated, 8-2, by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, as well as a tumultuous relationship with former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, which included Messi calling Bartomeu a "liar" in a September 2020 interview with Goal after Barcelona blocked the forward's departure.

However, Barcelona's decision to bring back former club president Joan Laporta in March -- who had previously served the role from 2003-2010 -- is believed to have swayed the captain into returning for his 18th senior club season.

ESPN reports an official announcement is expected to be made by the club in the next few days.

Messi is currently on holiday after leading the Argentina national team to its first Cope America championship since 1993 and the first of his international career.

Messi joined Barcelona's academy in 2000 and has appeared in a club record 778 games, surpassing former teammate Xavi Hernandez's previous record last season.

The Argentinian forward has a club record 672 career goals, leading Barcelona to 10 La Liga and four Champions League titles, while also winning a record six Ballon d'Or awards.

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