Is Lionel Messi’s Barcelona career over ALREADY? Argentine star is allowed to skip Barca’s last game of the season to depart early for his holidays… and with his contract up next month that could be curtains
- Lionel Messi has been allowed to miss Barcelona’s last game after title bid ended
- The forward now has more time to prepare for the Copa America with Argentina
- Messi still has not signed a new deal with Barca and can leave for free in June
- He has not discussed his future in a while but breaks his silence on Saturday
Lionel Messi could have played his last game for Barcelona after being allowed to miss their final LaLiga game of the season to get more time to rest for this summer’s Copa America campaign with Argentina.
The Catalans crashed out of the title race with a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Celta Vigo last week, the final blow in a terrible end to the campaign for Ronald Koeman’s side.
With leaders Atletico Madrid doing battle with Real Madrid for the title on the final day, there is nothing riding on Barcelona’s game on Saturday at Eibar, who are already relegated, and the club see no need to ask Messi to play after what has been an unforgiving season for the Argentine.
Lionel Messi had a frustrating final home game of the season as Barcelona lost to Celta Vigo
Messi will not face Eibar and has more time to rest for the Copa America with Argentina
Barca said in a statement that Messi had been granted permission by coach Ronald Koeman to miss training on Friday and the final game at Eibar, pointing out that the skipper and top scorer ‘is one of the players in the squad who has played most’ this season.
The decision means Barca’s all-time scorer and appearance maker may never play again for the club, as he still has not signed a new contract and is free to join any other side free of charge when his deal ends on June 30.
Barca’s bid to keep Messi was boosted when Joan Laporta, who presided over Messi’s rise from a long-haired teenager at the La Masia academy into the best player in the world, was elected for a second time in March.
Laporta has said he will ‘do everything’ to convince Messi to stay and has a far better relationship with the Argentine than predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu, who led to the player stunning world football last year by asking to leave.
But there has been no news on a new deal while Barcelona continue to be beset by their catastrophic financial situation.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta gets on well with Messi but has not yet struck a deal with him
Messi (pictured with Sergio Aguero) will captain Argentina at the Copa America on home soil
Messi meanwhile has not spoken about his future since a revealing interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta in December although he is due to break his silence in an interview with Argentine newspaper Ole on Saturday.
Messi has made 47 appearances in all competitions this season, including 35 LaLiga games and six Champions League matches plus five in the Copa del Rey, the only trophy Barca won in a chaotic and often frustrating campaign.
He is also set to finish top scorer in LaLiga for a fifth year in a row as he has scored 30 goals this season, seven more than nearest challenger Gerard Moreno of Villarreal.
Messi will look to compensate for a disappointing season with his club when he leads Argentina into the Copa America on home soil, looking to win a first ever major trophy with his country.
Argentina were due to co-host the tournament with Colombia although organisers CONMEBOL have stripped Colombia of hosting rights amid fierce anti-government protests.
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