• Luis Garcia says Messi can easily play for another five years
  • There have been rumors stating Messi's departure from Nou Camp in 2021
  • Messi recently entered the club of 700 career goals

Former Barcelona midfielder Luis Gracia claimed Lionel Messi can easily play for another five years.

Messi, who celebrated his 33rd birthday last month, does not seem to be slowing down as he recently netted his career’s 700th goal. Messi and Ronaldo are the only ones, among the active players, to score 700 or more career goals.

FC Barcelona has been in the news for wrong reasons off late due to the politics in the club and Messi has never hesitated to express his distress regarding the same on social media. Since Messi’s contract is due to expire in June 2021, and the captain has not signed a new deal yet, there have been rumors suggesting Messi may leave the Catalans as a free agent at the end of the 2020-21 season. However, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu in a recent interview said he is confident Messi will end his career at Nou Camp.

Messi, who remains to be La Liga’s best and has scored 22 goals in 33 league games and 27 goals overall this season across all tournaments, will be 34 when his current contract ends in 2021.

Just when Messi was breaking into the first team in 2004, Garcia left Barcelona to join Liverpool. The former midfielder has implied Messi’s ability to adapt will help him play for another five years and the fact that he’ll be close to 40 will not be a hindrance.

“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 upfront 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!” Garcia said, as quoted by Goal.

Antoine Griezmann celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring a sensational chip against Villarreal on Sunday.
Antoine Griezmann with Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba AFP / JOSE JORDAN

Messi has been linked with a move to various clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester City, a club whose boss is Pep Guardiola – former Barcelona manager, whose success with the Nou Camp side had a lot to do with Messi’s performances.

In the same report by Goal, it is mentioned even though Guardiola has refused to comment about the possible transfer, he believes Messi must stay at Barcelona. “I’m not going to speak about transfers until the end of the season. My wish is that Messi stays at Barcelona,” added Guardiola.