Messi is so intelligent he could play for another five years, says Luis Garcia | OneFootball

Messi is so intelligent he could play for another five years, says Luis Garcia

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Stats Perform

Lionel Messi could easily play for another five years at the highest level, according to former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder Luis Garcia.

Messi's future has come under uncertainty again amid reports he wishes to leave Barca when his contract expires in 2021, although club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident the six-time Ballon d'Or winner wants to stay.

Messi will be 34 by the time his present contract runs out, but he remains LaLiga's most imperious attacking player, with 22 goals and 19 assists placing him top of both rankings in 2019-20.

Garcia, who left Barca in 2004 to join Liverpool just as Messi was breaking into the first team at Camp Nou, says his ability to adapt will keep the Argentina star playing until he is close to 40 years old.

"Why not? The way he is playing, adapting his style to the game is impressive," said Garcia, courtesy of LaLiga.

"Every year he shows us something different but keeps up the same amount of goals, of assists. Even getting more every year!

"He's adapting, he doesn't spend so much time up front because he knows it's harder, so he drops a little more.

"He shows why he's so intelligent. He adapts his game to what the team needs in every game.

"I could see him playing in 2025, easily!"

Barcelona face a derby match with Espanyol on Wednesday knowing a win is crucial to their hopes of winning LaLiga this season.

Quique Setien's side sit four points behind leaders Real Madrid, who boast the superior head-to-head record, with just four games remaining.