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Josep Maria Bartomeu congratulates himself for keeping Lionel Messi

Bartomeu congratulates himself for keeping Messi
© Reuters
President Josep Maria Bartomeu feels that the Barcelona board deserve credit for retaining the services of Lionel Messi.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that the Barcelona board deserve to 'congratulate themselves' for keeping Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Earlier this summer, a combination of tension behind the scenes and a lack of direction in the transfer market led to Messi handing in an exit request.

Citing that the 33-year-old could not leave the Catalan giants on a free transfer, Bartomeu was able to prevent the departure of the attacker until 2021 at the earliest.

Bartomeu feels that the powers-that-be at the La Liga side are now entitled to receive some praise after extending Messi's presence in the first team into a 17th season.

Speaking to TV3, Bartomeu said: "I won't get into any conflict with him. He's our captain and the leader of our team. I couldn't let him leave the club, he is the best player of all time and the team needs him. Having Messi is a guarantee of success.

"We have seen him do his talking on the pitch and we have moved on from the saga. We should congratulate ourselves for getting Messi to stay with us and for how he has behaved in the last few days. The best player in the world should stay at our home."

Bartomeu is currently under pressure to retain his chief role in the boardroom.


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Barcelona's Lionel Messi pictured in August 2020
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