Any side foolish enough to think they could get Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona in the near future have had their hopes dashed by the Argentine signing a new contract this week.
It was announced early on Tuesday morning that Messi had extended his previous deal that ran out in 2016 for a further two years.
He’s not the only Barca stalwart who’s lengthened their current contract though, with Carles Puyol and Xavi extending their deals, despite them both being north of 30-years-old.
However, it’s Messi’s new deal that is bagging all the headlines following an incredible year that’s seen him score an incomparable 90 goals.
Ladbrokes now offer 2/1 (from 3/1) that he stays at the club before he hangs up his boots while it’s 8/1 any other team manage to lure the superstar away before his new deal expires.
Bets are also being placed on how many times he will get his hands on the Champions League during his new contract, with exactly two wins the favourite at 2/1. It’s 5/1 he never wins it again in that period and 500/1 him and his team mates lift the pot every season until then.
Whilst winning the Champions League every season until his contract expires may be ever so slightly unrealistic, the odds on him winning it three times at 7/2 looks pretty decent.
The Catalan side have won the title three times in the past seven years and there’s every reason to assume their relative domination will continue with Messi at the head of their attack.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “Whilst it’s an odds-on certainty he’ll continue to amaze crowds during his new contract period we’re still not sure he’ll retire at the club. Further Champions League success also looks likely.”
Messi to move to another club within this contract period 8/1
Messi to retire at Barca 2/1
How many times will he lift the Champions League?
6 – 500/1
5 – 66/1
4 – 14/1
3 – 7/2
2 – 2/1
1 – 7/4
0 – 5/1
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date