Four-goal Lionel Messi hopes Pep Guardiola will sign new Barcelona deal
Monday 20 February 2012
Lionel Messi hopes coach Pep Guardiola will extend his contract and stay on at Barcelona beyond this season, the World Player of the Year said after scoring four times in a 5-1 hammering of Valencia in La Liga yesterday.
Guardiola, who prefers to renew his deal on a year-by-year basis, said in the pre-match news conference on Saturday he needed more time to decide on his future.
"He knows what we think, and he'll make his decision when he is ready," Messi told Spanish television in a pitchside interview at the Nou Camp.
"We hope he stays, he is very important to us and to this club," he added.
Messi, celebrating his 200th league appearance for Barca, took his league tally this season to 27 from 23 matches - one behind top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid - and to 146 since he made his debut in La Liga in October 2004.
Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the Catalan club was not worried by Guardiola's failure to commit beyond the end of this season.
"He is an exceptional coach and he decides the timescales," Bartomeu told Spanish television. "We are at his disposition and when he wants he will speak to us.
"With him, there are no time limits. He is an exceptional person and we are counting on him."
Guardiola, who has led Barcelona to 13 trophies since taking the helm in 2008, is chasing a fourth consecutive league title.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
Tim Sherwood column: I've been impressed with my Tottenham successor Mauricio Pochettino
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward