The way Messi 'takes care of himself' means he’ll be playing until he’s at least 38, says Barcelona legend Puyol
Messi, 32, has been traumatizing defenses since bursting onto the scene with Barcelona as a teenager, and is fast approaching the 700-goal mark for club and country.
Some have seen signs of the Argentine maestro slowing down this season as he has endured a unusually lengthy drought of four games without a goal for the Catalans – although he has registered six assists in that time.
But anyone hoping for a reduction in output from the prolific frontman will be left disappointed, according to former Barca skipper Puyol, 41, who won the Champions League title three times alongside Messi.
The Spanish World Cup winner says that the current Barcelona captain’s complete devotion to his craft means that he can continue playing until he is at least 38.
"Messi is 32 and a player who takes care of himself like Leo does can play until he's 38," Puyol said, Marca reported.
Puyol also dismissed recent speculation that Messi could quit Barca – a club he has been at since age 12 – following an ugly recent social media spat with sporting director Eric Abidal.
A host of European clubs will have been licking their lips at the prospect of enticing the number 10 away from the Nou Camp for the twilight of his career, although Puyol believes that for the time being at least he will remain in Spain.
"Why are we talking about a Barcelona without Messi when he's here now? What we have to do is try to win as much as possible with him," Puyol said.Also on rt.com Bye bye Barcelona? Livid Lionel Messi would make a MASSIVE impact if Man City, Liverpool or Man Utd lure him to the Premier League
While Messi’s goal output has waned since the turn of the year, that of his perennial rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, has shot up.
The Portuguese forward has netted 10 goals in six games since the start of the year, showing no sign of slowing down despite turning 35.
So with Puyol’s assertions that Messi will stick around until he’s 38, and Ronaldo likely to be here for a few more years yet, defenders will have to wait a little longer before sleeping more soundly.Also on rt.com Ronaldo reaches YET ANOTHER scoring milestone as he bags penalty double for Juventus in win over Fiorentina