Lionel Messi joined Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy at the age of 13, and his latest contract extension with the club will see him remain there until he’s 34. According to FC Barcelona, Messi has agreed to an extension through June 30, 2021, and the Argentinean will officially sign the deal in the coming weeks, when he returns to the club for preseason training.
While the terms of the extension are not yet disclosed, Spanish newspaper Marca has reported a release clause of €300 million in the deal. Rumors of interest from clubs like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Guangzhou Evergrande never gained any serious traction, but Messi will now, with absolute certainty, see out the prime of his career in Catalonia.
Messi is Barca’s all-time leader in goals with a preposterous haul of 507 from 583 matches. His 349 career La Liga goals also make him the top scorer in the division’s history.
His honors include eight La Liga titles, five Copa del Reys, four UEFA Champions League triumphs, and, on a personal level, he’s the five-time recipient of the Ballon d’Or.
“But Leo Messi will not stop there,” reads a somewhat foreboding statement on Barcelona’s website, “the Argentinian is in one of the best moments of his career and still has a lot more left to give, which is music to the ears of all Barca fans who will get to continue marveling at his greatness for at least another four years.”