Published On: Fri, Sep 13th, 2019

Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona in two years with one thing affecting his decision | Football | Sport

Lionel Messi could decide to retire after the 2022 World Cup, but leave Barcelona the previous year with his contract set to expire in 2021.

The Catalan giants are desperate for the 32-year-old to extend his current contract at the Nou Camp, but Guillem Balague isn’t so sure that the forward wants to.

The Spanish football expert has revealed that he expects Messi to continue play until Qatar 2022, but that could be his final tournament as a professional player.

“Messi will not be playing when he is 40,” said Balague told BBC Sport.

“He’s 32 and for the first time I have started hearing stories of people close to Messi saying ‘what if he only has two more years at Barcelona?’. I went into panic – ‘only two more years of Messi?’

“At the end of each season he decides whether he is fit or not.

“He’s got it in the back of his mind that he can perhaps play at the next World Cup.

“His contract at Barcelona finishes in 2021.

“The extra year between the end of that contract and the World Cup… does he play in the elite risking his body and his mind?

“Or does he step down and prepare himself for his last World Cup in 2022?”

Balague has suggested that Messi could take an extended break from football in order to prepare for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as he attempts to write his name in the history books.

Despite being considered by many as the greatest player of all time, his failure to win the World Cup could be a blight on his incredible career.

News emerged last month that Messi has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Barcelona at the end of every season, with Gerard Pique revealing that he was already aware.

“It’s something I already knew about,” Pique told Cadena SER.

“We know Leo’s commitment to Barca and it doesn’t worry me at all.

“He has earned the right to be able to decide his future.”

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