Barcelona is drifting away from the 2019-20 La Liga title race. Amid such distress, speculations were in the air that their captain, Lionel Messi might not sign a new contract with the Catalans beyond 2021. If that was to happen, it would have suggested that Messi has decided to leave Barca.

However, providing some relief to fans, Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that Messi will end his football career with the club. The 57-year old Spaniard said, "Right now, we are focused on the competition and we are negotiating with many players but Messi has explained to us he wants to stay. And so we're going to enjoy him for much longer. I'm not going to give details of the negotiations, but he has said many times that he wants to finish his career at Barca."

The 33-year old Argentine striker has helped Barcelona win 34 trophies by scoring 630 goals since he arrived at Camp Nou in 2004. That year, he debuted for the senior team as a 17-year-old.

On Sunday, Barcelona handed Villareal a heavy 4-1 defeat, following goals from Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and an own goal from Pau Torres. In reply, Villareal's Gerard Morena scored the only goal for his side.

As a result of their win, the Catalans still hold the second spot on the table with 73 points after playing 34 games. Real Madrid has played the same number of matches but they've collected 77 points and are marching towards their first la Liga title since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

BBC reports that the Barca president also spoke about table leaders Real Madrid and criticised the way he thinks VAR is being used in their favour this season. He claimed to have seen Los Blancos' game in Bilbao, and he thought VAR hasn't been fair.

Over the weekend, Sergio Ramos scored from a penalty to help Real secure a 1-0 victory over Athletic Club. The penalty was awarded to the Madrid side, following a VAR review. On the other hand, Bilbao's penalty appeal was turned down. As a result, there has been a storm of controversy regarding VAR's fairness.

Responding to the criticism that his club is facing, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said that he is exhausted of people raising questions about his side's victories.