Will Messi imitate club men Maldini, Giggs and Totti?
Lionel Messi will have the opportunity to end his long-standing association with Barcelona within hours.
The 34-year-old’s Camp Nou contract is due to expire on July 1, leaving him free to leave the club where he has spent his entire 17-year professional career so far.
Fortunately for Barcelona, this result seems unlikely, with recent reports suggesting the great Argentine is on the verge of agreeing to new terms.
Messi set to sign new Barcelona deal
If Messi put pen to paper on this extension, this will increase the possibility of him joining the ranks of players who have spent their entire careers at one club.
Here we take a look at five of football’s most famous club men.
Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
Undoubtedly one of the greatest defenders of all time, Maldini made his Milan debut at 16 in 1985 and spent the next quarter century at San Siro, winning seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues.
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
Like Maldini, Giggs went from a prodigious young talent to a distinguished senior statesman as he represented United from 1990 to 2014. Two Champions Leagues and 13 Premier League titles are among the 34 astonishing honors Giggs amassed during 963 senior appearances at United.
Francesco Totti (Rome)
Totti bid farewell to Roma at the end of the 2016-17 campaign after 786 competitive appearances and 307 goals, tying Maldini’s record of 25 Serie A seasons.
Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Longtime teammate of Messi and captain of the spellbinding three-time winner Pep Guardiola in 2008-09, Puyol has won six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. With 593 appearances for Barcelona to his name, the defender sits fifth on the club’s all-time list behind Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and all-time leader Messi out of 778.
Matthieu Le Tissier (Southampton)
A mercurial striker with a knack for scoring improbably daring goals, Le Tissier was regularly linked with the great figures of English football during his heyday in the 1990s. He remained loyal to the boyhood club Southampton to cement the status of England. icon on the south coast, although just eight appearances for England provide a topic of discussion about what might have been possible had he not resisted offers from the bigger clubs.