Messi's retirement his personal issue, says Barca chief

Barcelona: Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu stressed at a press conference on Thursday that the decision of Argentine football star Lionel Messi to end his national career with Argentina is a personal issue. Messi decided to retire from national soccer after losing the final of the 2016 Copa America against Chile, while Bartomeu still considers him a "fortune for international soccer", reports Efe. After the announcement of renewing Neymar's contract for five years, Bartomeu noted that Barca will soon tackle Messi's renewal, stressing that the club's main aim is to extend the contracts of its best players, including Messi who is enjoying his prime years. The club's president said that Dani Alves left the club for Italian side Juventus because he wanted a long term contract, while he stressed that it would be hard for Argentine defender Javier Mascherano to leave because he previously showed interest in staying at Camp Nou and also because he still has a valid contract.