Thursday, 13th September, 2012
Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has shot down suggestions that Lionel Messi could ever leave the Camp Nou.
Messi has now been at Barcelona for 12 years, having signed for the club and moved to Spain in 2000.
The Argentine legend has developed into an icon for the club, despite still being only 25 years old; he set the world record for goals scored in a single season last year, managing 73 in the 2011/12 campaign.
And Bartomeu is adamant that the Blaugrana would never look to cash in on the forward, with the club hoping that Messi spends his entire career in a Barcelona shirt.
Indeed, the vice-president insists the Catalan giants are so attached to Messi that he is even welcome to continue working for the club once he retires from professional football.
"We want Messi to retire at Barca", Bartomeu told Esport3.
Bartomeu also insisted that the club were disappointed they could not offer a lifetime contract to the forward, with a maximum of five-years only allowed, but he added that Messi’s role is "unquestionable and he has been developed at the club."
When Messi does eventually hang up his boots, Bartomeu wants to see him stick around the Camp Nou too.
"If he wants, he can continue working at the club when he retires", added the Spaniard.