Why Barcelona should not stress about Lionel Messi contract renewal

In May of 2015, Lionel Messi’s goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League amassed a record 25,300 tweets-per-minute, showing just how much of an impression that the superstar makes on social media unrelated to his own accounts. Particularly for Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there is an abundance of written material, both true and false, being put on the Internet about the duo daily. Due to the mendacious nature of certain publications, not everything written about the two should be taken at face value.

FC Barcelona should have nothing to fear in regards to Lionel Messi renewing his contract with the club from now until June 2018 when the deal expires. The best situation for all parties would be to have the 29-year-old renew as quickly as possible so that neither side has to deal with the overwhelming amount of gossip that will be produced if the contract talks were to drag on. Yet, Marca, a Madrid-based newspaper, has said that he has chosen not to renew due to his alleged tax fraud and the convictions and suspended sentences handed to him and his father.

It may be cynical to discredit the report completely, but the assertion that Messi will not continue on at Barcelona past the summer of 2018 is extremely unlikely and doesn’t hold much credence when taking into account the player’s constant dedication, in both words and actions, to the club.

The forward has said on numerous occasions that when his time is done in Catalunya he will go back to Argentina to feature for Newell’s Old Boys in the twilight of his career. While the Argentine club will hope that they can secure his services after the World Cup in Russia in 2018, it is unlikely that Messi would pass up the opportunity to continue playing in Europe when he will still be 31 years old. The likes of Juan Roman Riquelme and Carlos Tevez both moved back to Argentina at the age of 30, but unlike them, Messi will not be fighting for a consistent starting spot and should be playing at the highest level well into his mid-30s, as Xavi Hernandez did.

Cules should expect that Messi will resign with the club for at least a few more seasons before riding off into the sunset and finishing his career back home in Argentina. Messi has never been the kind of person that would compromise the future of the club’s roster due to overtly high wage demands, a leading factor as to why he has never entertained moves to Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City, but the Barcelona brass should expect that he will continue to be one of the two highest paid players in the world and all parties will plan accordingly.