Puyol & Pique: Messi to extend contract

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The Barcelona attacker's current and former team-mates believe that he will extend his contract at Camp Nou, rather than leave for another club

Barcelona legends Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique have both backed Lionel Messi to sign a new deal with Luis Enrique's side.

The Argentina international's current deal ends in 2018, with many clubs rumoured to be interested in signing the four-time Ballon d'Or winner. However, Puyol believes that the 29-year-old will not leave the club.

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“I think that Messi will renew," Puyol told La Vanguardia. "Barcelona is the best place for him, his home, we all love him."

Similarly, Pique feels that Messi should not leave Camp Nou.

“Messi knows that he won’t be better somewhere other than here," the forward's team-mate claimed.

The defender also joked about Messi's humility, claiming that he needs to be encouraged to play even better,

“At the locker room, Messi gives you the ball after a hat-trick and you say 'go for another hat-trick, Leo'. He is really important for us but he acts naturally.

“He is the best in every match, not only in El Clasico. He has matured in the last three years. He has understood that he needs the team. He is involved in everything, but is generous."

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Pique also praised Messi's long-term rival and fellow Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, calling the Real Madrid man a 'machine'.

“Ronaldo has an amazing instinct to score goals," the 29-year-old said.

"He is really competitive, a machine that always want to improve, but now he is less involved in every play."

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