Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has reiterated that Lionel Messi won’t be leaving the club.
Messi, who recently accepted a major pay-cut to re-sign with Barcelona, will also carry a €600m buyout clause.
Koeman spoke to Barca TV on various topics, including Lionel Messi, who is on holiday right now after winning the Copa America. Messi has agreed a 50 per cent pay cut to stay at the club.
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“Messi is crucial for our game, he’s the captain and an example,” said Koeman. “His efficiency last season was huge after a start to the season made complicated by his situation, but once again he showed he was the best player in the world.
“(Winning the Copa America is) hugely important because I know how much he wanted that after so many years without winning with his national team. As the best in the world he’s used to winning things and in the end he got what he was fighting for.
“He’s the main candidate for the Ballon d’Or for the great season he had and winning the Copa America. For me, he’s the top favourite to win it.”