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'Messi Has Made Up His Mind'

With Lionel Messi's contract at FC Barcelona currently set to expire in June, it has been claimed that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner may have already made up his mind about his future.

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Ahead of the Catalan club's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao this weekend, former Barcelona and Bilbao goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta was asked his opinion on Messi's future with the Blaugrana.

Zubizarreta, who also worked as a sporting director at Barca, feels the 33-year-old may have already decided what his next move will be, saying he believes life will go on for the Spanish giants if the Argentine does decide to take his career elsewhere.

"Messi has earned the right to think and to decide," he said on Catalunya Radio, according to AS.

"The president has already said that he would do everything possible for him to stay.

"From there on, if he decides to stay, then wonderful. If not, then we will have to keep playing.

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"And if he does decide to leave – even although I know some people will propose that his shirt number is retired – someone will have to play with the No. 10 in the Barca youth team. Life goes on.

"In the process of us making our decisions, the things that happen to you have an influence. These are the factors that accumulate, but I think that Messi has, more or less, made up his mind.

"The cup final is one of those factors that help to confirm your decision. But I don't think it will be decisive. He is a veteran and we have all had days when we think about giving up football.

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"Messi is a footballer in the traditional sense of the word, he is not a marketing product. He's old enough to know that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, the thing is that he feels good at Barca."

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