A former Barcelona defender, Eric Abidal, has spoken out about Catalan striker Lionel Messi.
“He is a key player,” Abidal told The Telegraph.
“If we talk about the level of play, Messi is the best footballer in history and he has spent his entire career at Barcelona. That’s why it’s so important that he stays,” he said.
Adibal, who served as the club’s sporting director under president Josep Bartomeu, went on to say, though:
“But his thoughts will depend on the level of the team, the new project, the ideas of the new management and the ideas of the coaching staff. And whether he will be comfortable at this club. From a marketing point of view, Messi gives an insane amount, it’s an incredible asset. But the decision is entirely up to him.
“It’s not easy to spend so many years at one club. Sometimes you start to want to try something new. But will there be a better place for him than Barcelona? I don’t know.”
Messi’s current contract with Barcelona expires this summer. And the two sides have not signed a new deal yet.