Messi to sign improved contract for Barcelona
Tuesday 15 September 2009
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that Lionel Messi is on the verge of signing a new long-term contract at the Camp Nou.
The Argentina star is already under contract to the Catalan club until 2014 but is now poised to pen an improved deal which will make him the highest earning player at the Spanish and European champions.
The 22-year-old has been with Barca since joining their much-vaunted youth system in 2000.
He is already expected to be crowned FIFA World Player of the Year when the next winner is unveiled later in the season.
"He's the best player in the world and one of the best in soccer history," said Laporta. "He's content and that's why he's playing the way he is."
Meanwhile, Laporta accepts that the club were right to sell Samuel Eto'o to Internazionale in the summer.
The Cameroon international moved to the San Siro as part of the deal that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic move in the opposite direction.
Laporta told the Spanish sports newspaper Sport: "Inter wanted Eto'o and, advised by our technical secretary (Txiki Begiristain), we decided that the time had come for Samuel to leave Barcelona.
"Eto'o was exemplary - he left the club with great elegance and dignity. He was a player that gave a lot to Barcelona and one who was known to give excellent performances.
"It was not easy to tell a player like Eto'o that he did not have a place in the team."
Meanwhile, Barca's defender Gerard Pique has hit out at Real Madrid's massive summer spending spree.
The former Manchester United star believes that is was Barca's success last season when they clinched three trophies that forced Real to buy so many new players in the last three months.
"They needed to sign players because their rival won the treble, and so they have invested in their squad," Pique told Sport. "They've signed players to achieve a change of pace and to try to win back a title.
"People say the title will be between Real Madrid and Barca. That is the feeling that everybody has, but in football anything can happen and another team can step into the fight for the title.
"But for team investment and budget, Barca and Madrid are the candidates for the title."
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League final preview: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.