Hristo Stoichkov has revealed that he is convident that Lionel Messi will retire as a Barcelona player, but the Blaugrana legend admits “there is always a but”.
It appeared as though a six-time Ballon d’Or winner could head through the exits at Camp Nou in the last transfer window.
Messi aired a desire to move on, after taking in a frustrating end to the 2019-20 campaign, and believed that an exit clause in his contract would allow him to seek out a new challenge.
Barca, though bolted the doors and made it clear that they would not be sanctioning a switch elsewhere.
Messi opted against entering into a legal dispute with a club that holds a special place in his heart and revealed in an exclusive interview with Goal that he will be honouring his contract.
No fresh terms have been agreed since agreeing to stay on, meaning that he is still due to hit free agency in the summer of 2021, but Stoichkov believes that Messi will put pen to paper at some stage.
The iconic former frontman told Mundo Deportivo: “I think he will retire here but there is always a but.
“As a fan and former player, I would like it to be like that but I am not part of his future thinking.
“I am glad and happy that he stayed. You have to take care of him and pamper him. It is too bad that there are no supporters at the moment to show their love.
“On Instagram sometimes I put a photo up with him and I see positive comments towards him. I love him very much. Lefties never fail.”