Lionel Messi signs contract to remain at Barcelona until 2021

Jun 26, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Argentina midfielder Lionel Messi (10) reacts during penalty kicks of the championship match of the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament against Chile at MetLife Stadium. Chile won 0-0 (4-2). Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Star striker Lionel Messi has signed a new contract to remain at FC Barcelona through the 2020-21 season, according to the team. There will be a buyout clause worth a whopping 700 million euros.

Messi’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of this year, fueling speculation that the all-time great could potentially take his talents elsewhere.

This marks the ninth official contract Messi has signed with Barcelona, and as a result of signing this pact, the Argentinian will remain with the historic La Liga club until he is at least 34 years old.

“I’m happy to continue with the Club, which is my home,” said Messi after officially signing the new deal, per Barcelona. “My dream was to finish my career at Barça and we are moving down that path.”

Messi has spent his entire career with Barcelona, starting off with the youth team in 2003-04. After his new contract concludes, Messi will have played 17 years with the Spanish squad.

“The objective is to continue achieving things, fill the club’s trophy cases, and keep making history at Barça,” he added. “We’ve been lucky enough to have won a great many things and I hope there will be more in the future.”

In 19 games thus far this season, Messi has scored 16 goals. He is also coming off of a 2016-17 campaign in which he found the back of the net 54 times through 52 appearances.

Barcelona is currently atop the La Liga standings thanks to an 11-1-0 start to the season. The club is four points ahead of Valencia.

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