'We hope that this won't be Messi's last match at Camp Nou' - Alba waiting on Barcelona star's contract call

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Lionel Messi has taken in his final outing at Camp Nou of the 2020-21 campaign, but Jordi Alba hopes that will not be the last time that Barcelona's iconic home plays host to an all-time great.

The Blaugrana saw their La Liga title bid brought to a close on Sunday as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo.

Messi was on target once again in that fixture, taking him to 672 career goals for Barca, but his contract continues to run down and it could be that a new challenge outside of Catalunya is sought this summer.

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What has been said?

With a six-time Ballon d'Or winner heading towards free agency, Alba has told Movistar when asked if a long goodbye is coming to a close: "We hope that this won't be Messi's last match at Camp Nou, but it is a decision that he must take."

Have Barca done enough to keep Messi?

The mercurial Argentine made one push for the exits in 2020, before eventually revealing to Goal that he would be sticking around to honour the final 12 months of his contract.

Speculation has raged since then on what his next move will be, with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain keeping a close eye on events at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi, Barcelona 2020-21

On-field success was expected to convince Messi that he should stay put, but a Copa del Rey triumph is all that Barca have to show for their collective efforts this term.

Consistency in domestic and continental competition has proved elusive for Ronald Koeman's side, with defeat against Celta Vigo - a game they took the lead in - summing up their season.

Alba added on the reasons why Barca have been unable to chase down a league crown: "It isn't psychological what happens to us in second halves, as we wanted the second and there were more spaces, yet you see that the goal wasn't arriving.

"We had to win... and many times when you want the second you attack a lot. It happens to everyone.

"We have gone four games without a win and you have to take that into account.

"The players are to blame when things go bad. We tried, above all in the first half, but Celta are a great team and they made it hard for us. This is football.

"It's true that we've now gone many games without winning and that is our fault.

"We will now go to Eibar to put on a great performance."

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