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‘Messi has to follow his heart’ – out-of-contract star assists to restore Barcelona to glory

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Lionel Messi should follow his heart and stay in Barcelona this summer to restore the Blaugrana to its former glory, according to his former Argentine team-mate Franco Di Santo.

Speculation about Messi’s future continues to buzz, and the Mercury No. 10 contract expires in late June after publicly debating the club’s hierarchy in the summer of 2020.

That means that Saturday’s meeting with Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano would be his last Clasico if he left Camp Nou behind.

goal understands that the 33-year-old is completely ignoring the situation about his future until the end of the season as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter remain tied to his signature.

And former Chelsea striker Di Santo believes that while it would be interesting to see the six-time Ballon d’Or winner in a new setting, he would rather stay in Catalonia.

What would be said?

I only speak with goalDi Santo said: “He deserves respect in Barcelona for everything he has won at the club. It’s a team game but a large part of his recent history has taken care of him.”

“I don’t think they would have won that much without him. He’s the key to everything in Barcelona. And the style of play. He deserves to be respected for what he’s won in recent years.”

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“It would be great for anyone who signs him in the Premier League or in Italy. To see him in a different context would be cool.

“However, I would like to see him stay at Barcelona to build his legacy.

“If I were him I would ignore what people say and do what my heart says. I would do what is best for my family and me. Maybe that should make Barcelona strong again.”

Is Messi still the best player in the world?

Despite a bad start to the season and the emergence of new stars like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, Messi’s recent form suggests he’s not ready to give up his crown as the world’s best player without a fight.

With 16 goals and seven assists in 13 league games since the turn of the year, Messi has led Barca back to the Spanish title race. Ronald Koeman’s side are just one point behind the wavering leaders Atletico Madrid, who have nine games left.

The Blaugrana have also reached the final of the Copa del Rey, which is due to take place on April 17th against the Athletic Club.

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As such, a domestic double is within Messi’s grasp, and Di Santo believes his most recent form suggests he will remain at the top of the world game.

“Just meeting Messi is amazing because he’s our (Argentina’s) other idol alongside (Diego) Maradona,” added Di Santo. “I think with him they are the two best players in our history.

“We made so many good players, but these two are the best we’ve ever had.

“I think Messi is one of the best players if not the best right now. We are always happy to have him on our team. It will be really difficult to see another player like him in the future.”

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Steven Gregory