Lionel Messi not as influential at Barcelona as people think, says Malcom as he tips Argentine to play until he’s 40 – The Sun

PLAYER power at Barcelona is not as significant as many people think, former winger Malcom has said after claims Lionel Messi effectively runs the club.

Together with Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez, the Argentine is part of one of the world's most recognisable and vocal dressing rooms.

However Malcom, who spent only one season at the Camp Nou before being sold to Zenit St Petersburg, insists the squad does not hold as much sway as some believe.

He told Cadena SER: "The dressing room doesn't have that much power.

"Leo doesn't act as president. He speaks only as the captain of the squad."

Still yet to sign a new contract past 2021, Messi's future is reportedly in doubt due to Barcelona's own financial worries.

Talk of disagreements with the club board have continued during the coronavirus shutdown, in particular over the negotiations regarding a player pay cut.

A dressing room statement shared by Messi, 32, at the announcement of a 70 per cent deduction claimed: "It never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were some who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure for us to do something that we always knew we would do."

Yet Barcelona on top of LaLiga ahead of football's return and Malcom is looking forward to watching his former team-mate in action again.

He added: "One of the bad things about the confinement is not being able to watch Messi.

"I think he'll play until he's 40."

Malcom scored four times in 24 appearances for Barca having been snatched from under the noses of Roma in 2018, but was sold to Zenit for £35million last summer.

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