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AP Interview Barca president preparing for post-Messi era

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BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi is still going strong but Barcelona’s club president has already started to look ahead to that unwanted day when the club’s all-time great steps off Camp Nou’s field for the very last time.

Josep Bartomeu tells The Associated Press that “we are preparing this post-Messi era.”

Like all Barcelona fans, Bartomeu shares the same concerns over how the Catalan club will cope when the 32-year-old Messi starts to slow down. Bartomeu said that goal No. 1 for the club’s transition plan is to ensure that Messi retires in a Barca shirt.

Bartomeu says “I have no doubts that after Messi finishes his career as footballer he will remain linked to this club for the rest of his life.”

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