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Messi: Barcelona players desperate for Guardiola to continue as coach

The Argentina international is desperately hoping that the Blaugrana boss will extend his contract, which expires at the end of the current campaign

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has revealed that he and his colleagues have made it clear to coach Pep Guardiola that they want him to sign a new deal with the club.

Guardiola's current contract expires at the end of the season and the former Spain international has yet to give any indication as to whether he will sign an extension.

Messi, though, remains optimistic that the Blaugrana boss will soon commit his future to the club as he retains the full support of the Catalans' squad.

"He knows what we think and he will make the decision when he sees fit," the Argentina international is quoted as saying by AS. "We want him to continue. He means a lot to us and to this club."

Meanwhile, after scoring four goals in a stunning 5-1 victory over third-placed Valencia on Sunday evening, in what was his 200th La Liga appearance for Barca, Messi resisted the opportunity to bite back at those who have questioned his form of late.

"There is always a time of year it is said [that he's playing poorly]," he reasoned. "[But] I have the confidence of my colleagues, of the coach and people of Barcelona - and that is what matters to me and makes me feel happy."

Messi, who made his debut for the club in October 2004, has now scored 146 La Liga goals for Barca.

Since November, Goal.com has been publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The very last extract, which was published on Friday, looks at Andres Iniesta's risky return from injury in the 2009 Champions League Final and how he was described by Wayne Rooney as the 'best midfielder in the world'. Don't miss it!

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