Koeman fears Messi has played his last Barcelona game
Ronald Koeman has admitted he fears that Lionel Messi has played his last game at Camp Nou.
Koeman was talking after Barcelona’s 2-1 home defeat to Celta Vigo on Sunday, which means his side are now out of La Liga’s title race.
Messi put Barca ahead with a header and enjoyed a brilliant individual game, making an incredible 14 dribbles.
READ MORE: Lionel Messi – earnings and net worth
However, Celta fought back to win the match as Santi Mina scored twice – including an 89th minute winner.
With Atletico Madrid coming from behind to beat Osasuna 2-1 and Real Madrid defeating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in the Basque Country, Barcelona will now finish the season in a disappointing third or fourth position.
And Koeman is worried that Sunday’s match may be Messi’s last-ever appearance at Camp Nou.
Messi: Statistics in 2020/21
|Man of the match||22|
The 33-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season but there is still no sign of him penning an extension.
“I hope this is not Messi’s last game at the Camp Nou,” Koeman told reporters at full time.
“Today he showed he is still very effective.
“But Leo is very alone, to win more games, we need more players to score goals.
“The same as in many games, we were the better team, but it does not show in goals.
“We played a good first half, but they have one shot and it’s 1-1 at half time.”
For much of the season it had seemed almost certain that Messi would leave at the end of his contract after he had an explosive falling out with the club’s hierarchy.
However, the return of former president Joan Laporta this year suddenly gave supporters renewed hope that Messi would stay.
Barca’s poor end to the campaign, as well as their crippling financial position which sees the club €1.2 billion in debt, has complicated a renewal.
Laporta had been hoping to use funds earned from a lucrative European Super League to pay for Messi’s new contract.
But with that project spectacularly collapsing just days after its launch, Barcelona are in a calamitous position financially going into the summer transfer market.
There will need to be sacrifices and a cutting of costs, the question is will Messi be part of these cuts?
The superstar has been heavily linked with a summer move to PSG and Manchester City.