Barcelona: Despite Argentine forward Lionel Messi being within 20 months of the expiration of his FC Barcelona contract, the Catalan football clubs sporting director has no doubt hell stay well into his thirties.
Robert Fernandez said on Friday that Messi, 29, will sign a new deal this year, and that Barcelona's past precedents should leave no question on the matter.
"He's the No.1 in the world, he could choose any team without a problem…I'm delighted that he's the No.1 in the world and that he's with us. We will reach an agreement. I'm totally convinced," Fernandez was quoted as saying by sport-english.com.
"There's no rush. This season we will reach an agreement. Like we did with Rafinha, (Javier) Mascherano, (Sergio) Busquets and Neymar," he added.
Messi has admitted he's considered returning to hometown, Rosario-based club Newell's Old Boys before he retires, but that time should be after a new contract in Europe (likely with Barcelona).
After arriving in 2001 at Barcelona, the five-time World Footballer of the Year has played for the Spanish club's first team since 2004.
He has powered Barcelona to four European Champions League titles and eight La Liga crowns.