Messi To Leave Barca? – What Could Happen Next
Lionel Messi and Barcelona go together like honey and bees. Ever since being 18-year-olds and becoming a first team player in 2006, he’s been the undisputed king of the Catalan club. His mazy dribbles, awesome assists and miraculous goals have helped Barcelona to 10 La Liga titles, 6 Copa Del Ray’s and 4 Champions League trophies. Messi has also picked up 6 Ballon d’Or’s for himself, the most of any player ever.
With that kind of winning relationship, it was seen as impossible for the two to ever part ways, and it was taken as a given that Messi would spend his entire career at Barcelona.
That was until a few weeks ago, when Messi had a very public falling out with Barcelona’s director of football Eric Abidal. Messi clapped back against Abidal’s previous comments about the sacking of Ernesto Valverde on social media. Now there is turmoil encasing the entire foundations that Messi built as the star of Barcelona, and what was seen as the strongest bind in football has now been shaken to its very core.
This jeopardy has made everyone in football sit up and focus on the midfield maestro and wonder what he will do next. Super clubs that thought they’d never be able to pry Messi away from his beloved Barcelona are now getting their cheque books out ready to throw however much money it takes to get him playing in their colours.
We look then at how this drama could unfold for what most people on the planet (apart from a few Cristiano Ronaldo fans and an old teammate of his) would call the best player of all time,
Rest of this Season
With all this chaos whirling around Camp Nou, it will be interesting to see how this affects Barcelona on the pitch for the remainder of the season. You wonder whether the rumours will weigh heavy upon Messi and cause friction among his teammates, or whether it will focus him and force him to play at his best and drive the team towards glory. Barcelona sit just behind a clinical Real Madrid side in La Liga and face a revitalised looking Napoli in the Champions League.
It will be tricky to overtake Madrid now that they seem to be building such consistency in the league, but Barcelona’s main sights will be on becoming European champions for the first time since 2015. Even if Messi isn’t at his best, you’d have to think they should still be enough to get past a potentially tricky Napoli side, and the professionals agree, making Barcelona the favourites.
However, if Barcelona do get through as predicted, it’s not a guarantee that they will go all the way. For the last two seasons now, they have crashed out in spectacular fashion in the knockout rounds. There was the embarrassing defeat to Roma in the quarter finals back in 2018 and then the humiliating loss to Liverpool in the semi-finals last year. Both times the Catalan club were up by a great margin going into the second leg and still Barcelona managed to throw it away.
These defeats would have had Messi looking around at his teammates and wondering if they’re good enough. You’d have to say that another mortifying result like that would confirm to Messi that his best chance of another Champions League trophy is somewhere else.
Moving on In the Summer?
If the rift between Messi and the Barcelona hierarchy is not sorted come the summer or if, to add salt to injury, the team have an underwhelming season, Messi will have plenty of offers to interest him. But where would he be likely to go?
It’s clear that he could never move to another team in Spain because, apart from mega arch-rivals Real Madrid, there is no team that could afford his astronomical wages. The footballing magician is reported to be pocketing an eye watering £500,000 a week. That means the team that signs him would have to be elsewhere in Europe and have insanely deep pockets.
One of the clubs rumoured, and that could be a great fit, is the blue side of rainy Manchester. Joining Manchester City would see Messi reunite with the manager who helped him evolve into the player he is today, Pep Guardiola. If Messi did join City, the club could easily afford his wages, and playing once again under Guardiola could re-energise him and allow him to get the most out of his twilight years on the pitch. Plus, the City board would stop at nothing to make sure Messi is happy and has the exact players he wants surrounding him, no matter what the costs.
Another club that seem to be in with a good shout of capturing Messi’s signature is Juventus. The old lady of Italy could certainly stump up the cash, and they already have a fantastic team that Messi could slot into. Imagine, Ronaldo and Messi together at last on the same team. This is the option that fans of football will be crying out to see happen. Well, everyone apart from fans of other teams that play in Serie A.