Messi equals 39-year Muller record with 365th Barcelona Liga goal

Catalonia made global headlines in 2017 with street protests in favour of independence

It further adds that the if there is a secession and Barcelona had to leave the La Liga and were unable to join either the English, French or the German leagues, then Lionel Messi would be free to leave the club.

Messi will be committed to Barcelona until the end of his new contract which is in 2021. Barcelona said Coutinho has yet to meet with his new teammates and coach, although he did make an appearance at the stadium for a photo session after Sunday's match.

Coutinho, who was denied a move to the Camp Nou last summer, is widely regarded as the heir to Andres Iniesta's throne and his arrival will only strengthen Barca's bid to reclaim La Liga.

Barca, who have won 24 Liga titles and lead this season's standings by nine points, said after the referendum they would not speculate on the future. Barca are nine points ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid and 17 clear of champions Real Madrid, who were visiting Celta Vigo later on Sunday.

Ernesto Valverde's side refused to let their 1-1 Copa del Rey draw at Celta Vigo on Thursday spoil their trip to the Hospital de Sant Pau in Catalonia.

With just twelve minutes played, Messi played a ball to Jordi Alba and when the ball was returned Messi volleyed it home in spectacular fashion.

Until the deal for Coutinho, Dembele was the club's most expensive signing for a transfer fee of 105 million euros that could rise to 147 million euros.

However, Messi insists that he will continue with Barcelona regardless of Spain's political climate.

Javier Mascherano started for Barcelona amid widespread speculation that he wants to leave in search of more playing time.

Barcelona reserve-team striker Jose Arnaiz debuted in the league as a late substitute.



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