The comparisons between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo refuse to die down as both superstars continue to be talismans for their teams. However last night, Messi proved one thing that he is the best free-kick taker in the world right now. Barcelona have been in poor form recently but Messi made sure that his club stay in touching distance of the La Liga top spot.
Messi scored a wonderful hat-trick against Celta Vigo at Camp Nou to help his side get a 4-1 win in La Liga. Along the way, Messi equalled Ronaldo’s record of most hat-tricks in La Liga history (34).
Messi scored two free-kicks during the game as Barcelona stopped their winless streak. Just at the stroke of half-time, Messi scored a sensational free kick from 25 yards out, that curled over the wall into the right corner of the goal-post. Only a few minutes later, Messi hit another free-kick in the top corner to complete his hat-trick. While Messi has hit numerous free-kicks in recent times, Ronaldo last scored from free-kick 694 days ago.
Messi’s contract will expire in 2021 and Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu revealed that the club will offer Messi a lifetime contract to see out his career at Camp Nou.
“Over the next two or three seasons our leader will continue to be Messi,” Bartomeu said during an interview with Associated Press. “However, there will be other young players coming in. Some will come from abroad, some will come from La Masia. We are content because we are preparing for the post-Messi era.”
‘I always make a comparison with Pelé,’ explained Bartomeu. ‘Pelé was a man from only one club [in Brazil]… [and] I have no doubt that after Messi ends his career as a footballer, he will remain linked to this club for the rest of his life,’ Bartomeu insisted.
‘Leo Messi’s contract ends in 2021,’ he went on. ‘But it will surely be the will of all parties involved, if they feel strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely,’ finished Bartomeu emphatically.
Barcelona had offered a lifetime contract to club legend Andres Iniesta in 2017. But only a few months after signing it, Iniesta moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe.