‘Messi at Barca for life’

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez insists the club will never sell Lionel Messi, and nor will they ever be able to find a replacement.

Fernandez was named to the post after Josep Maria Bartomeu won the summer’s Presidential election and spoke in depth to Mundo Deportivo.

When asked if there was ever a chance Barca could sell Messi, Fernandez replied in clear and emphatic terms.

“No. He’ll play here for a lifetime,” he said.

“Unfortunately he won’t play forever but there’s still a lot of great Messi left. There’s many years of football and he’s such a smart player.

“Logically as people get older they lose things but he is smart enough to always have extraordinary performances. He has that gift.

“It’s impossible to find another one like Messi. What he’s done, no one has ever done before. Look at the statistics, the goals, the trophies, the appearances…then you realise it’s impossible.

“He seems cheerful, calm. When you don’t know a person and you look from a distance, you use their performances as a guide. When you’re around him, it’s even better.

“You have to know when and where to run with the ball. We’re talking about a player in an extraordinary category. There are players you have to tell what to do and what not to do.

“And then there is Messi. He has to do what he has to do.

“The trident has a long future. They’re all of a good age.”

Tags Lionel Messi Robert Fernandez