Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has been tipped to keep on playing until 2025.
The Argentina international turned 33 in June but has shown few signs of slowing down this season. He leads the goals and assists charts in La Liga in 2019-20 despite missing the start of the campaign through injury.
Former Barcelona forward Luis Garcia has been talking about Messi to La Liga and claims the forward has the intelligence to continue at the top level for a long time yet.
“Why not? The way he is playing, adapting his style to the game is impressive. Every year he shows us something different but keeps up the same amount of goals, of assists. Even getting more every year!
“He’s adapting, he doesn’t spend so much time up front because he knows it’s harder, so he drops a little more. He shows why he’s so intelligent. He adapts his game to what the team needs in every game. I could see him playing in 2025, easily!”
Messi is contracted to Barcelona until the end of next season. Manu Carreno at Cadena SER has reported he is considering leaving the Camp Nou at that time after becoming frustrated by the Catalan giants.
Messi Knows Retirement is Approaching
Barcelona fans will be hoping Messi is not thinking about retirement any time soon given his continued importance to the team. He spoke about his future after picking up a record sixth Ballon d’Or in December.
“I’m aware of how old I am. And I enjoy these moments so much because I know that retirement is approaching. Time flies.
“I hope, God willing, that I keep playing for many more years. I’m now 32, though, and will be 33 at the end of the season, so, as I said, everything depends on how I feel physically.
“Right now I feel better than ever on a physical and a personal level, and I hope I can go on for a lot longer.”
Former Barcelona team-mate Xavi has also backed Messi to continue for some time yet. The club legend said back in May that he thinks Messi has “five or seven very good years left in him.”
Barcelona Expecting Long Messi Stay
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident Messi will stay with the club and continue at the Camp Nou for some time to come. He spoke to Catalan radio station RAC1 on Tuesday about the Argentine’s future.
“He has a contract until 2021. Normally we do not explain the conversations we have with the players but it is evident that we have an obligation to renew him. Messi is the best player in the world. What would you not want to renew?
“I see Leo calm, he has said many times that he wants to retire at Barça. This past Saturday I spoke with Messi. It is a normal situation to know how the players are. I tell them not to lower their arms and keep competing.”
Messi certainly would not lack for offers if he did decide to leave Barcelona after two decades with the club. Manchester City are one club who have been linked, although manager Pep Guardiola has made his feelings clear: “My wish is that Messi is going to stay in Barcelona.”