Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has revealed that the club offered him a lifetime contract but that he rejected it, not wanting to be tied down without the potential freedom to make career decisions if need be. On Saturday, Messi scored as Barcelona beat Eibar 3-0 on the road in the first game in which Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez have all scored in the same match.
When talking about his future earlier in the week, Messi didn't hint at a possible exit, simply wanting to keep his options open.
"It is true that Barcelona proposed me a contract for life, but what I said was that I do not want a contract that binds me like that," Messi told Radio Metro in Argentina, according to AS.
"I want to be fine to continue playing and to continue fighting for goals here. Being here, I can be for life, but not with a contract. Here I would stay a lifetime."
While it surely had to be an enticing offer when it came to the money, it makes perfect sense not to accept something like that. You never know when things could turn and perhaps he would want to leave, and though that never seems likely, you want to keep all doors open just in case. But the fact that he says he would stay there a lifetime should once again ease any concerns about him wanting to leave.
Messi's been at Barca since he was a child and has never represented another club professionally. There has been speculation in the past about him wanting to play for his boyhood club Newell's of Argentina, but that also seems unlikely.
If he keeps playing as he always have, you'd figure Barca will find a way to hang on to him, especially if Messi, Griezmann and Suarez build on what they did on Saturday. On Messi's goal to make it 2-0, they each touched the ball inside the box.
Messi's current contract runs until the summer of 2021. The 32-year-old is Barca's career leading goalscorer with 605 goals.