Lionel Messi can play for Barcelona for five more years – Rivaldo

Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes Lionel Messi could stay at the club for another five years and to continue playing at the top level until he is 38.

The former Brazilian playmaker was speaking in the wake of the Messi news that he confirmed he was staying at the Camp Nou for next season, although he clarified that he was less than happy to be doing so.

That brought an end to the saga regarding his future, as he threatened to leave the club as a free agent and terminate his contract at the Catalan giants.

“Messi criticised the current president Josep Bartomeu, so if a new president is elected in March perhaps Messi will decide to stay,” Rivaldo wrote in his Betfair column.

“Messi has his life in the city, his family enjoy living there and the fans have great affection for him. These are reasons to stay and perhaps with a new president, who understands Messi’s needs and can persuade him that the club is heading in the right direction, can persuade him to extend his contract.

“He loves Barcelona, and nowadays players are fit enough to prolong their careers at the highest level, so I can see Messi playing for them until he’s 38-years-old.”

Messi has scored a scarcely believable 634 goals in 731 official appearances for Barcelona, and he will now stay for at least one more season, meaning his future will now no longer dominate Barcelona transfer news this summer.

Rivaldo only ended his own playing career as a 43-year-old with the prime of his career spending five years at the Camp Nou between 1997 and 2003.

Tags Lionel Messi Rivaldo