ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has renewed his contract with Barcelona ending speculation about his future, the club announced on Saturday.
Messi’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season with his current contract set to run until 2021.
“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,” an official statement on the club’s website read.
The new deal is Messi’s ninth professional contract he has signed since his move to the Camp Nou in Spain, and will tie him to the club until he is 34.
“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,” the statement added.
“Barcelona is my home,” Messi said after signing his new contract. “It's always been my dream to finish my playing career at this club.”
There was much speculation about the future of the Barca ace after his silence about a possible contract extension following his acceptance of the European Golden Shoe award on Friday.
Rumors during the Summer transfer window linked the 30-year-old to English club Manchester City where he would link up with former manager Pep Guardiola.
In July, however, Barcelona had announced that Messi had agreed to a new deal but the striker had not physically signed the contract himself.
Messi joined Barcelona from Newell’s Old Boys in 2001, making his first-team debut against Espanyol in 2004.
The Argentine superstar has since gone on to win 30 trophies with the Spanish giants, including eight La Ligas and four Champions Leagues.
Messi has scored 523 goals in 602 appearances for Barcelona, winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or five times—more than any other player.