Lionel Messi will be second player to stay at same club he won Ballon d'Or with after Florian Albert if he stay at Barca
SHOULD Lionel Messi retire at Barcelona he will become only the second Ballon d'Or winner to have stayed at the club after receiving the award.
At the moment, Florian Albert is the sole recipient to have been a one-club man after picking up the honour.
He claimed his Ballon d'Or in 1967, the same year he won the Hungarian league with Ferencvaros.
Albert spent his entire career with Ferencvaros from 1958–1974, where he scored 250 times in 350 games.
The forward was a four-time league winner and starred for Hungry's national team, with 31 goals in 75 caps.
After his retirement he continued to remain involved with Ferencvaros even working in administrative positions.
In 2007, their stadium was named after Albert but in 2013 it was demolished.
The club built a new version on the same site but renamed it to the Groupama Arena, for sponsorship purposes.
Albert died on October 2011, aged 70, in a Budapest hospital after complications following heart surgery carried out a few days earlier.
His record of playing for the same club after winning the Ballon d'Or rests on Messi's future.
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The six-time Ballon d'Or winner handed in a transfer request with boyhood club Barca last August, citing plans to leave on a free.
But Nou Camp chiefs argued the stipulation that allowed him to do so expired in June.
To avoid a drawn out legal battle in court, Messi, 33, committed his future to Barca for at least this season.
But with his contract officially expiring at the end of the season he is free to leave for nothing.
Manchester City – where his ex-manager Pep Guardiola coaches – and PSG, with former team-mate Neymar, are the frontrunners to sign the legend.
It would mean Messi's 17-year love story with Barca would come to an end and see him in a once-unthinkable position playing for another team.
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