Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken of his ‘obligation’ to think about the club once Lionel Messi retires from playing.
The Argentine star has been a fixture in the club’s attack for the past 14 seasons but celebrated his 32nd birthday last month and thoughts may now be turning to the future of the club behind him.
“I think our obligation is to work in the post-Messi era,” Bartomeu explained to reporters, as cited by Diario AS.
“We are already thinking about that because we are bringing new players. As president I hope that Leo is still with us for many years but we have to think about this change for when he decides to stop playing.”
The Argentine forward remains the central point of the club’s attack and despite prolonged investment over the years, is widely regarded as the world’s most valuable player.
Messi has netted 603 goals across 687 first-team appearances for the Blaugrana and has won 34 trophies at his time with the club, including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.