Among the important matters at Barcelona there is one which is and has been paramount for the last couple of years.
And that is the next contract of the world’s best ever player, Lionel Messi.
Because, over the last few years, this quiet and mild-mannered genius has been tainted by tales of tax avoidance which have shed doubt on where Messi will play the final years of his career.
He may not have quite the bewitching pace or the ability to slalom around five disbelieving players at a time these days. But he is still easily one of the most influential players in La Liga and is surely worth 15-20 points a season to Barcelona.
Messi last signed a contract at Barcelona in 2014, which runs out in 2018. But such is the quality of the man and the size of the brand that Barca will want not rest easy until they have a new deal in place.
To that end, there is great news for Barcelona fans today as British media outlet, Sky Sports, passes on these quotes from the club’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez:
“Leo’s renovation is going very well, very well,” Fernandez told RAC1. “I’m very relaxed, as I was before with Mascherano, Busquets, Suarez or Neymar. And I am now with Messi, as I am with Iniesta or Ter Stegen. We’re working and I’m convinced that they’ll continue with Barca.
“It doesn’t matter much who will be the first to renew. There will be people who want to poison the situation, but we’ve been working on this issue for a long time.”
At 29 the Argentina international had a quiet time a few years back while he adapted his game. But he is now just effective as a playmaker as he use to be at the most advanced point of the attack or on the wing.
He’s already scored 28 goals in just 26 games this season and hit 41 and a ridiculous 58 in the previous two campaigns.
TFF feels that he can give another four years to the sport at the top level because he has always looked after himself so well and seldom courted controversy off the pitch.
And even fans of Real Madrid must admit a fondness to watching this footballing work of art in action.