Ronaldinho says Messi has to continue with Barcelona

Ronaldinho has told Lionel Messi that he “must stay” at Barcelona, saying the Argentine superstar is in a position where he can ensure that “nobody will touch” the No 10 shirt at Camp Nou again.

An all-time great has filled that iconic jersey in Catalunya since inheriting it from the Brazilian superstar in 2008.

Two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho is delighted to see six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi raising the bar and wants to see contractual issues ironed out that would allow the 34-year-old to remain.

Barca legend Ronaldinho, who spent five years at Camp Nou at the peak of his powers, told TuttoMercatoWeb: “He must stay, he is the history of Barca. When Messi retires, which I hope will be in a long time, he can leave the No 10 there and nobody will touch it again.”

One the greatest players ever is currently a free agent. His contract at Barca has expired and no fresh terms have been signed yet.

An offer is on the table with an extended stay agreed, but financial problems at Camp Nou are preventing an official deal from being done.

Costs must be cut in order for Messi to be retained and new signings to be registered. Salary cap demands in Spain mean that Barca can no longer afford to stockpile talent on big wages.

The hope is that more exits will be sanctioned over the coming weeks, allowing Ronald Koeman to open the 2021-22 campaign with his captain on board.

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