Bartomeu: Messi can play until he is 45

Barcelona club president Josep Bartomeu believes that Lionel Messi can continue playing for the club for many years to come. 

Messi, who turns 32 this summer, signed a contract extension in 2017 to keep him at the Camp Nou until at least 2021 – but Bartomeu believes he will remain in the side beyond that.

"The day Messi retires, I will no longer be president – because he will outlast me, he stated in an interview with UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

"I think retirement is still a long way off for Messi.

"If you look at the goal he scored against Liverpool and the power he hit that free kick with – he is stronger than ever."

When pushed on exactly how long Messi could play on for, Bartomeu was reluctant to give an exact age – but he joke that he hoped the Argentinian international would stay on until he is 45.

Messi has netted 48 goals for Barcelona this season, including 34 in league action, and with at least another five games left to play this season, he could match his 2016-17 total of 54.

Tags Josep Bartomeu Lionel Messi