Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane wants Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to remain in La Liga amid speculation of a possible departure.
Messi, 33, is contracted to Barca until 2021 but a report emerged on Thursday, claiming the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is considering an exit.
According to Cadena SER, Messi has halted contract negotiations due to his frustrations with Barca – who are on track to be dethroned by bitter rivals Madrid this season.
Zidane was asked about the rumours regarding Messi after Madrid moved four points clear of two-time defending champions Barca thanks to Thursday’s 1-0 win over Getafe.
“I don’t know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league,” Zidane said post-match.
Sergio Ramos was the hero for Madrid against Getafe, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the 79th minute at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.
The victory was Madrid’s sixth in a row as Los Blancos extended their advantage over stuttering Barca with five matches remaining in La Liga.
Related slideshow: Lionel Messi’s greatest achievements so far (Provided by Photo Services)
All-time La Liga top scorer
Barcelona’s all-time top scorer
Over 50 hat-tricks
Most La Liga hat-tricks
First to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons
First to score in 15 consecutive La Liga seasons
Most La Liga wins
Most goals in a La Liga season
Most goals scored in a calendar year
Most Ballon d’Or wins
Most European Golden Shoes
Fastest to 100 UEFA Champions League goals
Youngest to 250 La Liga goals
Only player to score in 23 cities
La Liga’s top scorer award
Most La Liga hat-tricks in a season
Most goals scored in El Clásico
Argentina’s all-time top scorer
Youngest Argentine to score in a World Cup
Youngest to make 100 appearances in Champions League
First to score 10+ goals in 13 consecutive La Liga seasons
20+ goals in 10 consecutive seasons
First to score against every team consecutively in a league
Longest scoring run in La Liga
Zidane hailed captain Ramos, who took his La Liga tally to nine goals in 2019-20 following his 450th league appearance for Madrid.
“Our captain is our leader on the field, but also outside,” Zidane said of the Spain skipper, who took his career total to 100 goals.
“He is an unrepeatable player. He is unique and we know what he transmits to everyone else. I’m happy for him for his goal because when it comes to shooting a penalty, he has a lot of confidence.
“It’s almost in the 80th minute and Dani Carvajal’s effort in goal is from the whole team. We know that with patience and tranquility we can score goals. This is what happened.
“The last 20 minutes with freshness we claimed a very important result. We have to congratulate all the players because what we are doing is not easy.”
Zidane also provided an update on star centre-back Raphael Varane, who took a blow to the head and had to be replaced in the first half.
“Right now he’s not right because it’s a blow to the neck,” Zidane added. “He has gone home and the doctor is going to see him and we will see from tomorrow [Friday].
“We are not going to risk anything. It was a strong blow and tomorrow we will see exactly what he has.”