Bartomeu: Messi has a contract forever

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says it will be up to Lionel Messi to decide how long he wants to remain at the club.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner joined the club as a teenager in 2001 and has gone onto play over 350 times, scoring 314 goals.

While he is already contracted to the club until June 2018 – with negotiations over a new deal not yet underway – Bartomeu has insisted the player will have a place at the club for life.

He told ESPN FC: "[Messi] has all the years he wants [with Barcelona].

"Lionel Messi is the best ever to play football in the history of the world and he plays with us.

"We are very happy, he is very important for the club, he's very important for the fans, he's very important for football itself.

"And Lionel Messi in the next coming months of course we are going to talk with him because he knows, he already knows that he has a contract forever. There is not a limit with him.

"The limit will be decided by him and right now he is 29 years old, he is talented, he is ambitious, and he's in perfect shape to continue for many more years.

"For now, we think we will do it in the next coming months, but Leo Messi will continue in Barcelona, of course."