Barcelona president Joan LAPORTA said he was very confidant Lionel Messi would choose to remain at the club after the Argentine released a vine performance in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.
Messi scored a exciting separate goal midway through the second half after strikes from Antoine Griezmann and FRENKIE DE JONG had put the Catalans in charge.
He then decorated an unexecuted display by netting again before lifting the trophy for the seventh time in his career, his first since becoming club captain in 2018.
Barca’s all-time top scorer and most decorated player has only two months left on his agreement and tried to leave last year after falling out with then-president JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU.
But LAPORTA, who presided over Messi’s rise to stardom in his first stint as Barca chief and was elected for a second time last month,
said he felt the captain would remain at the club where he has exhausted his career since joining aged 13.”Leo is the greatest player in the world and has a very potential connection with the club.
I’m realized he wants to remain and we’ll do everything in our hands to make sure he does,” LAPORTA told reporters. “Today he could see he is backed up by a great team who are capable of playing beautiful football.
Messi gave no indication about his future but commended his side for oppressing a horrible start to their season to go and win the Copa and rejoin a stirring three-way race for the La Liga title along leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. “We wrestled to get going in the first half of the season and lost a lot of points by being NAIVE but then we got a lot stronger, started playing really well and got ourselves back into the fight,” he said.
Barcelona coach RONALD KOEMAN paid tribute to Messi and also gave a special mention to Dutch midfielder De Jong, who got two assists in addition to scoring the second goal. “Leo has spent years displaying that he is the greatest player in the world and he was very useful today although we should also highlight what FRENKIE did as well as the rest of the team,” he added. “We played at an remarkable level tonight and we deserve this Cup.”