Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/7/13
For Lionel Messi, signing a new contract with FC Barcelona comes as naturally as scoring a goal. The Argentine superstar inked a new deal with the only club he has ever represented at the professional level. The contract ties him to Barcelona  for the next five years (through June 2018) and keeps his buyout fee at its current astronomical level, according to CNN. “The 25-year-old has signed a new long-term deal with his buy-out clause remaining at $335 million, while he will earn a net salary of $14.75 million per year,” the report says. “This is the sixth time in eight seasons that Messi has negotiated a new contract with Barcelona desperate to hold onto its star player.” Messi had agreed to the terms of the new contract at the end of last season, but he only signed it on Thursday. There was never much doubt that he would commit himself to Barcelona, as he has played for the Spanish club since he was 13 and never publicly entertained the idea of moving. An unnamed Russian club reportedly met his buyout clause last year, but he refused to negotiate with the club despite the fact that it was willing to pay him almost three times as much as he earns with Barcelona. The four-time FIFA Ballon d’OR winner will be 31 when his latest contract expires. The BBC reports he gave a rare glimpse into his future plans and said he might finish his playing days in his homeland. “I said it before — in Europe I’d like to end my career at Barca,” Messi told Barcelona’s website. “I wouldn’t consider moving to another European club. “With that said, I’m not ruling out ending my playing career in Argentina.” Once upon a time, Messi was part of the Newell’s Old Boys youth system in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. It’s not certain that he would return to there, but his infant son, Thiago Messi, is already a member of the club. At this point, we can only guess what the future holds for Messi, but it’s pretty safe to say there will be plenty of goals in it. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
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