Barcelona will pay tribute to Lionel Messi with 10 statues at Camp Nou when the Argentina star hangs up his boots, joked club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is the highest-scoring player in Barca’s history, netting his 600th goal for the club with a magnificent free-kick in a 3-0 Champions League semi-final, first leg win over Liverpool on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old – contracted to the club until 2021 – took his tally of trophies with the Catalan giants to 33 by sealing LaLiga glory last weekend, the first piece of silverware in a potential treble for Ernesto Valverde’s men this season.
Barca will no doubt hope Messi is still around when the renovation and expansion of Camp Nou, which will see a roof added and the capacity reach 105,000, is completed in 2023.
Asked if a statue of Messi will join the one of Ladislao Kubala at the modernised stadium, Bartomeu told The Observer: “There will be 10 of them!
“I wouldn’t even give him the Ballon d’Or. He’s beyond that now, in a category of his own.
“There are great players, but he’s in a different dimension.”