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‘Barça’s fans will decide my future’: Messi

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi insisted on Monday he remains committed to the club despite a disappointing trophy-less season but would only stay on as long as it felt "affection" for him.

'Barça's fans will decide my future': Messi
Photo: Jose Jordan/AFP

Messi agreed a new contract with the club worth a reported €20 million ($27.4 million) net a year just last week. 

However, he was booed by certain sections of the Camp Nou crowd as Barcelona narrowly missed out on winning La Liga on Saturday in a 1-1 home draw to Atletico Madrid, who took the title for the first time in 18 years in a dramatic title decider. 

"It is the people of (Football Club) Barcelona who will decide my future but my decision is to continue since I still sense that they feel affection for me," the Argentine star wrote on the Chinese online messaging platform Weibo. 

"But if that were not the case I would look for a solution, because I will always want the best for this club." 

Barça ended the season without a major trophy for the first time in six years forcing coach Gerardo Martino to quit after just one season in charge. 

Messi said it had been a "hard year, personally and as a group", and apologised to fans, promising to do better next season. 

"We had an opportunity to achieve an aim in the last match and we did not manage to seize it," he wrote in his message. 

"I just want to say sorry to all the Barcelona fans and promise them that this coming year we will do justice to the club and achieve big things."

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FOOTBALL

‘Diego is eternal’: Messi pays tribute to Maradona

Lionel Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona on Wednesday by calling him "eternal" after his fellow Argentine died of a heart attack.

'Diego is eternal': Messi pays tribute to Maradona
Diego Maradona hugs Lionel Messi after 2010 World Cup quarter final Argentina vs Germany. Photo: AFP

“A very sad day for all Argentines and football,” Messi wrote on Instagram. “He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal. I will keep all the beautiful moments that I lived with him and would like to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Messi and Maradona have often been compared in the debate about who was the greatest footballer of all time.

Both players are icons in Argentina and have been likened to each other due to their global status, dribbling style and famous number 10 shirts.    

Maradona was also Messi's coach during his brief time in charge of the national team, which included Argentina being thrashed by Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.


A banner held up during 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 25, 2014. Photo: AFP

 

Maradona spent two years at Barcelona, where Messi is now captain and the club's all-time top scorer, although Maradona's greatest years were spent with Napoli in Italy.

Asked about Maradona in 2010, Messi said: “Even if I played for a million years, I'd never come close to Maradona. Not that I'd want to anyway. He's the greatest there's ever been.”

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