Zidane Does Not Want Messi to Leave Barca after El Clasico
Real Madrid’s manager, Zinedine Zidane, has indicated that he did not want Saturday’s El Clasico meeting to be Lionel Messi’s last as he nears the end of his Barcelona deal.
Barca traveled to the Spanish capital on Saturday to face Real Madrid in what could be Messi’s last league game against their fierce rivals.
The 33-year-old is out of contract on June 30 and has yet to make a decision about his future amid intense transfer speculation.
Zidane said he hoped the six-time Ballon d’Or winner stays at the club and said it’s good for La Liga if he continues to ply his trade in Spain’s top flight.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he told reporters: “I don’t want it to be Messi’s last Clasico.
“I want him to stay at Barcelona. He’s fine there. It’s good that he stays for La Liga.”
The Frenchman added: “We know the player that Messi is. He may not be scoring goals, but we know the player that he is.
“We are going to play against Barcelona. It is true that we know the player that he is, but they are all very good – they have many great players.”
Sergio Ramos has also been the subject of intense transfer speculation with his own contract also up in the summer.
On the legendary Spanish defender potentially playing in his last El Clasico, Zidane added: “Hopefully it is not his last Clasico and he stays here.”
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