Johan Cruyff says offering players such as Lionel Messi long-term deals is not good for the player or the club.
The former Barcelona coach believes that there is a danger that players relax because their futures are safe and would perform better if they were motivated by an improved contract.
Messi signed an extension to his agreement at Barcelona recently that sees him tied to the club until 2016.
“I am not a fan of long contracts and the one that Barca signed with Messi is just that,” he wrote in his column for El Periodico.
“The player, whoever it maybe, needs to be motivated to continue improving. I, like the club, would always want to be able to improve things year-by-year if the player deserved it.
“Many stars they do not live up to all the expectations after renewing for a long time.”
Messi saw his salary increase and his buy-out clause rise from €150million to €250million and Cruyff accepts that this was only to fend off spenders like Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez.
“Now I think that they have applied an anti-Florentino clause to ensure that the wages are among the best in the world, away from any bonuses,” he added.
“But to make it last until 2016 is excessive for me.
“Messi deserves to be among the top earners, but the idea should be that he signs for three or four years at the most and if at the end of every season he is still determined, add a year more.”