Barcelona president Joan Laporta has defended the bumper new contract of Lionel Messi. Despite his youth, Messi is now Barca's best paid player - with speculation suggesting his contract is worth £160,000-a-week.

Laporta said: "We have made the contract the player deserves. He has it until 2014, he is a great player, the best in the world and has a salary commensurate with his status."