Barcelona Lionel Messi

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.”

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