Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has revealed that Lionel Messi’s retirement date is in fact not far away despite his Barca teammate Luis Suarez stating that his retirement comments have been misunderstood. Valverde clarified that Messi is not thinking of drawing curtains to his career anytime soon but could take a call on it in the coming years.

Valverde was attending the pre-match press conference ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Real Mallorca. He went on to state that he would boast to everyone around in the future that he was lucky enough to have coached Lionel Messi. Notably, Lionel Messi won a world record sixth Ballon d’Or title surpassing his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo who had five such titles to his name.

“It’s something natural, it seems normal, Leo is 32-years-old and although I don’t think he’s thinking about retiring now it’s something which is in the air,” Valverde told reporters at the press conference.

“But I don’t think we should go crazy about it, we have to look at it naturally. Everyone thinks about retirement when they get to a certain age, but just because he’s thinking about it doesn’t mean he’s going to retire in the next three days.

“I’m aware of how lucky I am but sometimes the demands of everyday life means you are not allowed to enjoy everything. I think you appreciate these things more with time. I’m aware that I have the enormous fortune of being able to say in a few years I coached Leo.

“In the same way that older people talk about Di Stefano, we will be able to tell future generations that we lived through the Messi era and some people like me will be able to say we enjoyed it close by,” he concluded.