Lionel Messi signs new Barcelona contract

Lionel Messi signs new Barcelona contract

25/11/2017 at 10:19Updated 25/11/2017 at 12:39

Lionel Messi has ended months of speculation over his future by signing a new contract to the end of the 2020/21 season to remain at Barcelona.

Messi's new contract has a buyout release clause of 700 million euros.

The Argentine international has spent 14 seasons with the first team, and at the end of the current contract he will have spent 17 years with Barcelona.

Messi made his debut for Barcelona aged just 17 against Espanyol, in October 2004.

The 30-year-old striker had been regulalry linked with moves away this season, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain mentioned as possible destinations.

With Barcelona, Messi has won eight La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, five Copas del Rey, seven Spanish Super Cups, three European Super Cups and three Club World Cups.

He has won the Ballon d'Or five times, and has won the Pichichi and Golden Boot four times each. Messi is La Liga and Barcelona's all-time top scorer with 523 goals in 602 appearances.

Messi agreed the new contract with Barcelona in July but the club did not release the usual photo of the player putting pen to paper, fuelling speculation he could depart in June 2018, when his previous deal ran out, for free.

Messi leads the scoring charts in La Liga with 12 goals and on Friday picked up the 2017 European Sports Media Golden Shoe for being the top scorer in a domestic league last season with 37 goals.

Barca can extend their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points if they beat second-placed Valencia on Sunday.

Additional reporting from Reuters.