Give Messi a call! Barcelona must do everything to keep Leo happy

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The Argentine reacted to his first goal with a cryptic phone celebration aimed at the directors' box


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Lionel Messi knows how to make a point. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner rarely uses gestures or quotes in the media to air his grievances, but when he is unhappy about something he makes it known.  

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So when the Argentine attacker pointed to the directors' box and made a phone sign with his hand to his ear after opening the scoring with a stunning strike in the first half against Celta Vigo on Saturday, it was a significant moment.

Because while Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has repeatedly claimed that Messi will finish his career at the Catalan club, there has been little progress made when it comes to a new contract for the 29-year-old forward.

Neymar and Luis Suarez have both signed new deals in the past few months, but the delay in putting together a financial package for their main man has led to some tension at Barcelona, particularly after director Oscar Grau called for "common sense" in the matter earlier this year.

Lionel Messi Barcelona LaLiga 030417

That provoked an angry reaction from Suarez as the Uruguayan told television cameras: "Messi is the best player in the world. What we have to do is to renew his contract, not have common sense."

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The message was clear and, in the Barca dressing room, some of the players cannot understand how the matter has been left this long. And Messi, judging by his gesture and stern expression, did not appear very happy either.

The forward's current contract expires in 2018, which means Barca have left things extremely late and there have already been reports in Spain claiming the Argentine may walk away for free when his deal runs out in the summer of next year. 

Lionel Messi Iago Aspas Barcelona Celta La Liga

Neymar Barcelona Celta La Liga

That still seems highly unlikely. Messi and his family are happy in Barcelona, while the player has always said he has no intention of quitting the Catalans, except perhaps to end his career with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina.

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Nothing has changed in that respect, but Messi appeared to be calling for more action than words with his celebration vs Celta. It was another astonishing performance that included an assist for Neymar's delightful lob and another wonder goal in the second half which was perhaps even more impressive than the first.

The Camp Nou crowd have become accustomed to such moments of magic over the years and they will be back at the same stadium on Wednesday to see if Messi can inspire a historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

It remains unlikely, but Barca's improved form and the success of their 3-4-3 formation in this 5-0 win means they have a chance. Without Messi, however, there would be little hope and Bartomeu should be on the phone as soon as he can after the Argentine's gesture on Saturday. Because keeping Leo happy is still the absolute key to success for this team.

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