Lionel Messi said it was a very special moment for him to lift the Copa Del Rey trophy as captain. The Argentine, who has led Barcelona since 2018, when another legendary player - Andres Inesta - moved to the Japanese league, said it was exciting to lead the Blaugrana to victory.
"It's very special to be the captain of this club. It's a very special Copa for me because I'm able to lift it [myself]. Not being able to celebrate it with our fans is a pity. The situation is what we have to live with. It's a shame", Messi told reporters after the game.
The athlete was at the forefront of Barcelona’s offence and scored twice during the game in just four minutes.
Messi - 35 trophies for Barca:— Barca Galaxy (@barcagalaxy) April 17, 2021
10 🏆 La Liga
08 🏆 Spanish Super Cup
07 🏆 Copa del Rey 💥
04 🏆 Champions League
03 🏆 European Super Cup
03 🏆 Club World Cup pic.twitter.com/I7VfaV2FRN
According to Messi, the club is getting stronger and will do everything to win La Liga. Barcelona is ranked third and is trailing one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Will He Stay?
The victory in Copa Del Rey reignited the debate over whether Messi will stay on at Camp Nou. Last summer, he wanted to leave the club, but was unable to do so due to a clause in his contract that the Argentine blamed on Barca’s ex-President Josep Maria Bartomeu. His current contract ends this summer, with Messi then able to walk away as a free agent.
The club’s new President Joan Laporta is confident that Messi will remain at Camp Nou and emphasised that the board of directors will do everything to persuade him to do so. But the club's manager, Ronald Koeman, was less optimistic. The Dutchman said he was not certain about Messi’s future.
Reports previously said that Messi wants to be part of a strong project that wins titles. The beginning of this year’s football season was marked by frustrating losses. However, despite misfortunes in the Champions League, Barcelona managed to transform its game and is now competing for the La Liga title. Winning the trophy may reportedly persuade the Argentine to stay at Camp Nou and possibly finish his career there.