Former Brazilian captain Rivaldo feels Barcelona could roll out a new contract for Lionel Messi after the Argentine star decided to stay back at Camp Nou to avoid a legal tussle with the club that has given him everything. Rivaldo says he will not be surprised if that happens. Also Read - Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo Miss Out on UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award; Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer Nominated
The former Barca star told Betfair, with changes being made on and off the field that could convince Messi to sign fresh terms: “Last week Lionel Messi said he would stay at Barcelona until his contract expires at the end of this season. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed at the club beyond his current deal. Also Read - Lionel Messi's Reaction After Barcelona Lift Joan Gamper Trophy Will Make You Depressed | WATCH
Rivaldo also feels if things get better at Barca under Ronald Koeman, Messi could rethink quitting Camp Nou next year. Also Read - Juventus Star Cristiano Ronaldo Wins IFFHS World's Best International Top-Scorer Trophy
“A lot could happen this season, as Barcelona begin life under new manager Ronaldo Koeman and elections for club president take place in March. Messi criticised the current president Josep Bartomeu, so if a new president is elected in March, perhaps Messi will decide to stay,” he added
With a new President in place and the fact that his family lives in the city may have been the reasons behind Messi making a U-turn.
“Messi has his life in the city, his family enjoy living there and the fans have great affection for him. These are reasons to stay and perhaps with a new president, who understands Messi’s needs and can persuade him that the club is heading in the right direction, can persuade him to extend his contract,” he further added.
The six-time Ballon D’Or-winner decided to end his contract with the club in the wake of a humiliating 8-2 loss against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarters.