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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Lionel Messi signs new long-term contract with Barcelona until 2020/21

Argentina forward is the club's most successful player, winning 30 trophies since making his debut as a 17-year-old.

Lionel Messi poses with his four Golden Boot trophies during a ceremony in Barcelona on Friday. On Saturday he signed a new long-term contract. Albert Gea / Reuters
Lionel Messi poses with his four Golden Boot trophies during a ceremony in Barcelona on Friday. On Saturday he signed a new long-term contract. Albert Gea / Reuters

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi signed a new long-term contract with Barcelona on Saturday morning, putting an end to any doubts about his future at the Primera Liga club.

Messi, 30, joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000 and has gone on to become the club's most successful ever player, helping Barca win 30 trophies - a record he shares with captain Andres Iniesta.

Messi's new contract will expire at the end of the 2020/21 season and has a buyout clause of €700 million (Dh3.67 billion).

Since making his first-team debut as a 17-year-old, Messi has won eight Primera Liga titles, four Uefa Champions Leagues, five Copa del Reys, seven Spanish Super Cups, three European Super Cups, and three Fifa Club World Cups.

His individual awards are also unrivalled. Messi has won the Ballon d'Or a record five times, claimed four Pichichi awards as the top scorer in the Primera Liga, and four Golden Shoes as the top domestic scorer in Europe.

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Messi has scored 523 goals in 602 games, making him Barcelona's and the Primera Liga's all-time leading scorer.

The Argentine has started the current campaign in typically impressive form, scoring 12 goals in 12 games as Barca lead the Primera Liga standings by four points.

The announcement of Messi's commitment to Barcelona puts to bed any speculation that suggested he could leave the club when his previous contract expired at the end of this season.

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