Lionel Messi signs new contract with Barcelona

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Lionel Messi is Barcelona. Barcelona is Lionel Messi.

The biggest secret in soccer is out: Messi has signed a new contract at Barcelona through the 2021-22 season.

In July Barca stated that Messi, 30, had agreed a new deal verbally but until now no official confirmation of him signing the new deal had arrived.

However, the Argentine superstar and five-time World Player of the Year has committed his future to the Nou Camp club as they released the following details on Saturday with a huge release fee in his new contract.

FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi signed on Saturday morning a new contract that will keep the Argentinian superstar at the Club through the 2020/21 season. The buyout clause was set at €700m.

Thus, by the time the new deal expires, the 30-year-old striker will have spent 17 years with the first team.

Messi has scored 523 goals in 602 games for Barcelona in all competitions and has been at the club since 2000, when he joined their academy at the age of 13.

Since making his debut as a 16-year-old he has led the Blaugrana through the most successful period in club history with four UEFA Champions League titles, eight La Liga titles, five Spanish cups, three Club World Cups and three European Super Cups.

On Friday Messi picked up his fourth Golden Boot award for being the top goalscorer in Europe and his greatness shows no signs of slowing down. He was easily the greatest player in Barca’s history many years ago and the No.10 continues to add to his legend year on year with 16 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions so far in 2017-18.

Barcelona’s fans can look forward to seeing him in action for another five years, at least, with the massive release clause surely removing any lingering belief that Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain could grab him away from the Catalan capital a la Neymar.

The leading goalscorer in Barcelona and La Liga history, who along with Andres Iniesta has won a club-record 30 career trophies so far, is hungry for more success.