Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Barcelona reject idea of release clause in Messi contract

Barcelona reject idea of release clause in Messi contract

So if Barcelona continue to play in La Liga regardless of what happens with Catalan independence in the future Messi will stay.

Such an emphatic victory comes as Barcelona's attacking threat is preparing for an additional injection of creativity with the 25-year-old Coutinho. He is a player who scores goals and creates goals.

Messi was back in the starting line-up after missing the King's Cup draw with Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Valverde's side sit top and nine points clear of closest challengers Atletico Madrid and 14 clear of rivals Real Madrid, as well as boasting an unbeaten record.

"In these three months I have been able to learn Barcelona's philosophy, now I am eager to help the team", Dembele said.

The deal saw Coutinho become the second most expensive footballer ever behind compatriot Neymar, who moved from Barcelona to Paris St Germain for 222 million euros in August.

Barcelona got off to a flying start with the opening goal in the 12 minute when Lionel Messi got onto the end of a pass from Jordi Alba and duly volleyed the ball into the corner of the net from just inside the box, 1-0.

Apart from the total 30 titles that he has collected with Barcelona, Messi has been honoured with the Ballon d'Or award a record five times.

Furthermore, they are without key personnel in Chema, Roger Marti, Ivan Lopez, Jose Campana, Enis Bardhi and top scorer Jose Luis Morales for the trip to Catalonia.

But they weren't enough for the win amid an uninspiring performance by Cristiano Ronaldo, and poor defending by Marcelo and the rest of Madrid's backline.

"I have to find out what the problem is", coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We need to have more confidence in our chances, and recently we don't have the confidence to play 90 minutes well".

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