Lionel Messi's refusal to sign a contract extension with FC Barcelona fueled some rumors about his potential departure, as the press revealed that he has a clause that allows him to terminate his current deal with the team and walk away after every season.
However, Gerard Pique isn't concerned about that happening at all but claimed that, even if he ends up leaving the club, he's already earned the right to do it and shouldn't be questioned by fans or the media.
“I already knew Messi is able to leave for free at the end of each season. But we all know the commitment Leo has to Barca and it doesn't worry me at all. He's earned the right to be able to choose what he does with his future after everything he's given the club," Pique told Cadena Ser.
Josep Maria Bartomeu has always openly supported his superstar and talked about his desire to keep Messi at Camp Nou for the long run, as well as keeping him tied to the club even after his retirement.
“We would like to renew his contract, that's the idea. He is young, you can see that, and he still has two years on his deal. He's always improving, always innovating. I believe he still has many years in front of him and in the coming months we will sit down with him so that he has many more years at Barcelona. Messi is a one-club man. It's more than what he does on the pitch - his relationship with Barca will last forever," Bartomeu told ESPN.
Also, Messi has admitted his desire to play in his homeland one day, but shut the door to playing on another club in Europe other than the Blaugrana:
“I’m increasingly sure that in Europe, Barcelona will be my only club. I always said I wanted to play in Argentine football one day, I don’t know if it will happen but I have it in my mind. It would be at Newell’s, nowhere else. I would like to do that for at least six months, but you never know what will happen," he told El Trece, as quoted by Rosarioplus.
Even if Messi ends up leaving Barcelona, which seems highly unlikely at this point of his career, he's definitely earned the right to do so without facing criticism or hate from the supporters after all the things he did for the Catalans.