Barcelona provide Lionel Messi future update amid claims post-Copa celebrations hinted at summer exit
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken out over Lionel Messi’s future with the club, on the back of last night’s Copa del Rey triumph.
Barca run riot
Ronald Koeman’s men were of course back in action a little over 24 hours ago, in the finale of the latest edition of the Spanish cup.
The Blaugrana headed into proceedings as favourites, despite a damaging 2-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid last weekend.
Opponents Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, were aiming to avoid a 2nd heartbreak in the space of 10 days, having been put to the sword by Real Sociedad in the rescheduled 2020 Copa finale just last week.
When all was said and done in Seville, though, Barca’s class simply proved too much, en route to as one-sided a tournament showpiece as one could possibly imagine.
Goals from Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi (2) eventually saw Barca emerge on the right side of a 4-0 scoreline.
The highlight of the night came in the form of Messi’s first strike, after the Argentine lodged his latest entry for the Puskas award in starting and finishing a stunning move from inside Barcelona’s half:
MAGIC FROM MESSI! 🤯🙌
A moment of absolute genius, vintage Barcelona, and they’re now well on their way to picking up another Copa del Rey trophy 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/SWWOhMEIkB
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) April 17, 2021
Whilst the Argentine’s latest magical performance took centre stage during Sunday’s clash itself, though, on the back of the full-time whistle at the Estadio La Cartuja, it was Messi’s future which swiftly grabbed the headlines.
The Blaugrana captain’s contract is of course due to expire in the summer, with little suggestion having been forthcoming to this point that Messi is prepared to pen fresh terms.
In turn, when a host of Barca’s stars queued up to pose for photos alongside the 33-year-old and the Copa trophy last night, many construed the scenes as pointing towards an imminent Camp Nou exit:
They all wanted a trophy picture with Messi 📸
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 17, 2021
One individual, however, who has evidently not yet given up hope of convincing Messi to remain in Catalunya, is Joan Laporta.
Speaking in a post-match interview after watching his side clinch their 31st Copa crown, the recently reappointed Barcelona president was drawn on the subject of the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future.
And Laporta went on to reveal his confidence that Messi, in fact, intends to stay put:
‘Leo is the best player in the world and has a very strong bond with the club. I’m convinced he wants to stay and we’ll do everything in our hands to make sure he does.’
‘Today he could see he is backed up by a great team who are capable of playing beautiful football.’
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is confident Lionel Messi will stay at the club next season after delivering a vintage performance in their Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) April 18, 2021