By Monica Iheakam with Agency report
Lionel Messi has signed a new contract tying him to Barcelona until 2020-21 with a buyout clause worth 700m euros (£626m).
The 30-year-old Argentina international’s ,whose previous deal was due to expire next year, has put paid to speculations of his readiness to commit his future to Nou Camp.
Since joining the club at the age of 13, Messi has helped Barcelona win eight Spanish league titles and won the Champions League four times.
This means that Messi, has scored 523 goals in 602 appearances for the club, will spend 21 years with the Catalonian giants.
He was presented with his fourth European Golden Shoe on Friday – the award given to the highest scorer in European club football – after finding the net 37 times in the Spanish league last season.
The club announced in July that Messi had agreed a new deal, after he had reportedly rejected an initial offer in May.
In a statement, the club said Messi “still has a lot more to give, which is music to the ears of all Barca fans who will get to continue marvelling at his greatness”.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said, “We are in luck with the Barça players. We continue to enjoy the best player in the history of football.”
“For a long time we have been waiting to do the signature and today it was done. I am pleased to still be connected to the club. As I always said, this is my home.
“I always wanted to end my career here. My dream was to end my career with Barcelona and we are on track, “Messi told Barca TV.