In a couple of hours, Lionel Messi will have the option of ending his long affiliation with Barcelona.
The 34-year-contract old’s at Camp Nou is set to expire on July 1, allowing him to leave the club where he has spent his entire 17-year professional career.
Fortunately for Barca, that appears improbable, with recent rumors claiming that the Argentina legend is close to agreeing to new terms.
If Messi signs the agreement, he will boost his chances of entering the elite of players who have spent their entire careers with one club.
We take a look at five of football’s most famous one-club individuals in this article.
Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
Maldini, who made his Milan debut as a 16-year-old in 1985 and spent the next quarter-century at San Siro, winning seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues, is unquestionably one of the best defenders of all time.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) June 26, 2017
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
From 1990 to 2014, Giggs, like Maldini, developed from brilliant young talent to illustrious elder statesman while representing United. Giggs has an incredible 34 awards across 963 senior United appearances, including two Champions Leagues and 13 Premier League crowns.
A true football legend.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 6, 2017
Francesco Totti (Roma)
Totti left Roma at the end of the 2016-17 season, having made 786 competitive appearances and scored 307 goals, equaling Maldini’s record of 25 seasons in Serie A.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 27, 2017
Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Puyol was a long-time Messi teammate and the captain of Pep Guardiola’s mesmerizing treble-winning team in 2008-09. Puyol won six LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues during his tenure with Guardiola. With 593 appearances for Barcelona, the defender ranks fifth all-time behind Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and the club’s all-time leader, Lionel Messi, who has 778.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 23, 2014
Matthew Le Tissier (Southampton)
During his peak in the 1990s, Le Tissier, a flamboyant forward with a flair for scoring absurdly bold goals, was constantly linked with the cream of English football. Although a mere eight games for England provide a talking point about what may have been possible had he not spurned offers from bigger teams, he remained faithful to boyhood club Southampton to establish icon status on the south coast.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) May 19, 2017