/ Soccer

Lionel Messi commits his future to Barcelona by agreeing new contract

Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014 14:34 | Comments

Lionel Messi joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000
Lionel Messi joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000

Lionel Messi has agreed terms on a new contract with Barcelona and will sign it in the coming days, the Catalan giants have announced.

No details of the new contract were disclosed, but the deal follows lengthy negotiations during which it was reported that the 26-year-old wanted to surpass Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as the best-paid player in the world.

"FC Barcelona announces that it has reached an agreement for the adjustment of the professional contract of Lionel Messi," a statement on Barca's website read.

"The signing of this contract will follow in the coming days."

The news was announced on the eve of Barca's title decider against La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, who will travel to the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Barca need a win to take the title, with a draw enough for Atletico.

Messi has scored 28 goals in 30 league appearances to lead Barca's charge once again, and has 41 in all competitions this season.

In all the Argentinian has scored 354 goals in 424 official matches for Barca, the highest scorer in the club's history.

The new contract will see the 26-year-old move into a second decade with the club, having come through the ranks to make his debut during the 2004/05 season.

He has gone on to win six league titles, three Champions League crowns, two Copa del Reys, two Club World Cups and two European Super Cups.

According to a report on the website of Barcelona-based newspaper Sport, the new contract is worth a record €20million per season, plus further incentives, and ties Messi to the club until 2019.

Securing his future is a major piece of business for Barca as they shape up for a crucial summer.

The club were hit with a one-year transfer ban for violations of the rules on signing minors earlier this year. That ban has been suspended on appeal, and Barca need to make a series of moves this summer in order to guard against the possibility that it is reinstated in full for both the winter transfer window and next summer.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of the Atletico match, Barca coach Gerardo Martino welcomed the news of Messi's contract.

"It should give peace to him and especially to the club, who can continue to count on the best player in the world," he said.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip