Sport Messi will be impossible to replace, says Barcelona president Bartomeu

14:41  09 december  2019
14:41  09 december  2019 Source:   goal.com

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that while the club is looking for ways to imagine life without Lionel Messi , but no one player can "His performance is excellent and he always plays better I do not know how to do it: when he will not play with us anymore, it will be impossible to

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu addressed the long-term futures of Lionel Messi and Ernesto Valverde.

Lionel Messi celebrates against Real Mallorca © Getty Images Lionel Messi celebrates against Real Mallorca

Barcelona will find it impossible to replace Lionel Messi, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who added Pep Guardiola would always be welcome back at Camp Nou.

Messi followed up winning a record sixth Ballon d'Or by recording his 35th LaLiga hat-trick in Barca's 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday.

Despite spending big on Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong in the most recent transfer window, Barca are still heavily reliant on the 32-year-old, who has scored 14 goals from 15 appearances in all competitions this term.

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview that he wants Lionel Messi to remain linked to the club forever. He has already scored 42 goals in all competitions this season and Bartomeu is already thinking about what would be his 10th , and potentially last

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes Lionel Messi will remain a one-club man. " Impossible !" The blunt response of Bartomeu , when asked directly if he could foresee Barcelona ever letting go of their most prized asset, Lionel Messi .

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Bartomeu has acknowledged Barca will find it extremely difficult to replace Messi whenever the forward calls time on his stay at the club, but outlined their intention to continue developing young talent from the famed La Masia academy. 

"We Barca fans have the good fortune to enjoy Messi every three days," Bartomeu, who plans to offer Messi a "lifetime contract" told Italian publication La Repubblica.

"Leo is impossible to replace and when he will be here no more, we will be forced to play differently. I cannot say that we are already preparing for post-Messi, but it is true that we have already decided to bet on young players for a long time.

"For now, what we have to do is not worry, but enjoy it. I would like to make him an annuity contract as we have already done with [Andres] Iniesta. He has earned the right to decide when to say enough is enough.

"As a footballer, Messi is number one and we will fully understand it only in a few years, because Leo has changed not only the history of Barca, but that of world football."

Bartomeu also confirmed Guardiola - who left Barca in 2012 after four trophy-laden seasons in charge before going on to coach Bayern Munich and now Manchester City, will always have a home at Barca, should he wish to return. 

"A possible return of Guardiola? It doesn't depend on me," he added. 

"It was Pep who decided to leave, but for him the doors of Barca are always open." 

'Messi getting rest, nothing more' - Valverde clarifies Argentine's Inter absence ahead of crucial Clasico .
Barcelona will be without the forward for their Champions League clash, with a clash against Real Madrid loomingMessi has been rested by Ernesto Valverde for Tuesday's game at San Siro, with Barca enjoying the luxury of having already qualified for the last 16 as Group F winners.

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