Few players know Lionel Messi better than former strike partner Samuel Eto’o, and the FC Barcelona legend has now jokingly backed his former teammate to play until the age of 70.
Eto’o played alongside Messi at Barcelona for five seasons together at the Camp Nou before moving to Inter Milan. The duo formed one of the world’s most dangerous partnerships, scoring more than 200 goals during that period and winning no fewer than seven major honours.
Messi has since become the focal point at Barcelona in the former Cameroon international’s absence, and despite his contract expiring in the summer of 2021, there is no indication he is planning to leave the club though a new contract is yet to be agreed upon.
Eto’o has shared his belief that it is only natural for the club to have developed a reliance on the Argentine captain.
“It is normal. Leo is the best player in the world and the best of all time,” Eto’o told Marca when asked if Barca were over-reliant on Messi.
“I would always make the team asking Messi who he wants to have by his side, in his team. All the teams in the world want a Messi. Then you have to give it wicker. He can’t run like a 25-year-old kid anymore, even if he keeps doing it sometimes.
“What we Catalans have to do is give him the best team in the world so that he continues to make us enjoy. I feel sorry for him, but we will never let him go or rest. He has to play until he is 70 years old to make us enjoy more.”