Lionel Messi should stay at the club this summer because he’s in ‘love’ with Barcelona.
The Argentine has been heavily linked with an exit following Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
It’s the third season in a row that the Catalans have exited the competition in a worrying fashion and Messi has played in just one final in the last nine years, despite being at his peak during that period.
Ronald Koeman has promised to revamp the Barcelona squad following his appointment and he’s made keeping Messi a priority.
It’s believed talks between the two were far from straightforward and Messi expressed his anger at the club with Argentine publication Clarin claiming the forward was ‘furious’ with management.
However, Ronaldo believes that Messi is at the perfect club and says the Argentine should continue his one-club career at the Camp Nou.
‘It’s very unlikely that he’ll be able to leave Barcelona at the moment, especially when there’s a crisis of results,’ Ronaldo said at a webinar hosted by Santander.
‘Messi is a reference for the team and, if I were Barcelona, I wouldn’t let him leave in any situation.
‘He has a great and strong relationship with the club and I don’t think he’ll stop being in love with the team.’
Koeman expressed his desire to keep Messi on his appointment at the Camp Nou and Barcelona’s management have denied reports that the Argentine has requested to leave.
However, the Dutchman has intimated that a final decision is yet to be made by the Argentine over his future.
‘I don’t know if I have to convince Messi,’ Koeman said. ‘He is the best player in the world and you want the best player in the world in your team, not on the other side.
‘For my part, I would love to work with Messi. He wins football matches and I would be really happy if he decides to stay.
‘He has a contract. He has one year left. He is a Barcelona player.’