Thursday, December 9, 2021

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El Clasico: ‘I hope Messi stays at Barca’ – Zidane

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says he hopes Lionel Messi stays with Barcelona amid speculation about the Argentine’s future beyond this season.

Messi, 33, has been linked with a move away from Barcelona, including a reunion with former mentor Pep Guardiola at Manchester City this off-season and a possible switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The six-time ballon d’Or winner has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, whom he joined as a junior in 2000.

“Hopefully he stays at Barcelona,” Zidane said, speaking ahead of Saturday’s Clasico which may be Messi’s last.

“He’s good there and it’s also good for the Spanish league.”

Another player who has been linked with an off-season move is Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, who is coming off contract.

Ramos will miss Saturday’s match with Barcelona due to a muscle injury.

“Hopefully it won’t be his last Clasico,” Zidane added. “He won’t play tomorrow, it is a shame. But, I hope he stays here.”

Whoever wins tonight’s Clasico will assume temporary leadership of La Liga, until Atletico play at Betis Sunday.

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