KEY POINTS

  • It seems Barcelona has not secured a new deal for Lionel Messi, whose contract will expire in June
  • Barca manager Ronald Koeman was asked if Messi had played his last game at Camp Nou
  • Koeman made a shocking revelation about his situation

Ronald Koeman is hoping Lionel Messi didn’t just play his last home game with Barcelona.

Messi has been tremendously professional despite the controversies all throughout the season.

Barcelona will play its final game of the campaign against Eibar next week, and to this day, the Catalan club has yet to secure a new deal for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Speaking to the media after his team’s 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo, Koeman was quizzed to reveal if Messi had played his “last game” at Camp Nou.

According to Koeman, nothing is concrete yet, but Messi has proven that he is still “the best player in the world.”

Hence, the Barca boss didn’t dismiss the possibility that the Argentine might have worn the Barcelona shirt for the last time but also pointed out that everything will depend on the forward’s decision.

"I hope not because I think [against Celta] he's shown his effectiveness and that he's still the best in the world," Koeman told reporters, including ESPN when asked if Messi had played at Camp Nou for the final time.

“It [would be] impossible to play without him [Messi],” he added. “But it's Leo on his own and, to win more games and get more points, we need more players to score goals. [He’s] scored 30 goals and won us a lot of points. But [his future] is a question for him. For me and for the club, we hope he stays. Because if there's no Leo, we have doubts about who will score the goals."

Lionel Messi's 33rd goal of the season was not enough against Granada Lionel Messi's 33rd goal of the season was not enough against Granada Photo: AFP / LLUIS GENE

Heading into the Celta Vigo match, widespread rumors claim that Koeman is also facing the possibility of getting axed.

For Koeman, it is quite unfair to make conclusions about his management based on how Barcelona’s recent games played out.

“Like I said, we’ll talk at the end of the season. I want to continue, I’m very happy [here],” the manager said at a pre-match media conference. “I think we’ve improved and we still have a lot to improve. I don’t think the journey is over yet. In my opinion yes there are a lot of positive things. To say everything is perfect and then two weeks later it’s horrible - I don’t think that’s right.”

Koeman also revealed that he has been feeling “mistreated” by the media for about “two weeks” now.

“Yes. a little bit the last two weeks,” the Dutchman bared. “If you analyze the whole season you have to analyze the young players, that we won the cup, that we had 12-13 points less but we are still fighting for the league, that’s what you need to analyze”

“If you hear the media in the last few days, it looks like I did a really bad job and I don’t agree,” he continued.

Ronald Koeman Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman during a La Liga match against Sevilla in October 2020. Photo: Getty Images / David Ramos