• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:17 am

Valverde: Messi retirement not far away

  • Published at 01:13 am December 7th, 2019
Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was crowned world player of the year for a record sixth time when he received the Ballon d'Or in Paris Monday and set alarm bells ringing by saying in his speech "you enjoy these moments more because my retirement is getting nearer"

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said the football world must get used to the idea that Lionel Messi will retire in the near future, adding that he will cherish being able to tell people he was able to coach the Argentine.

Messi was crowned world player of the year for a record sixth time when he received the Ballon d'Or in Paris Monday and set alarm bells ringing by saying in his speech "you enjoy these moments more because my retirement is getting nearer".

Valverde added that he may only begin to truly appreciate Messi's greatness in a few years' time, comparing the forward's impact on the game as that of the late Argentine Alfredo di Stefano, who led Real Madrid to five consecutive European Cups.

Messi has scored 11 goals this season for Barca and struck a superb winner in last week's 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid which kept the Catalans top of the standing, locked on 31 points with Real.

Barca will still be without injured trio Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele and Jordi Alba for the game with promoted Mallorca, who are 17th in the standing and have lost four of their last six league outings.