Ronald Koeman: Impossible for Barcelona to play without world best Messi

Ronald Koeman says after Celta Vigo loss, "It is Impossible for Barcelona to play without world best Lionel Messi"

Lionel Messi-Barcelona-La Liga
Lionel Messi-Barcelona-La Liga | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman hopes that Lionel Messi has not played his last game for Barcelona at the Nou Camp after Sunday’s loss to Celta Vigo ended their La Liga title chances.

The Barcelona captain’s contract expires in the summer, and he has yet to commit to a contract extension and could leave in the summer. However, he remains crucial to his side and remains their top scorer in all competition this season. 

Speaking after his side’s loss on Sunday, Koeman reiterated his desire to see Messi remain in a Barca shirt beyond this season.

“He has shown today it is impossible to play without him,” Koeman told reporters.

“He is still the best player in the world. He has already scored 30 goals that have earned this team a lot of points.

“It is a question for Leo to answer. As far as I’m concerned, and the team is concerned, we hope he stays because if we’re not going to have Leo, we will have serious doubts about who is going to score so many goals.”

The Argentine opened the scoring against Celta Vigo to take his goal tally to 38 in all competitions this season. But two goals from Santi Mina means that Barcelona’s chances of a league title are over. They are now sure to finish outside the La Liga top two for the first time since the 2007-08 season.