Barcelona suffered a shock 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in August this year. The loss prompted the team’s captain Lionel Messi to seek release from his contract with the club. Barcelona is the richest club in the world and is very much a juggernaut in football. Barcelona is only rivaled by the likes of Real Madrid when it comes to finances and has over the years dominated Spanish football and the UEFA Champions League.
Lionel Messi could not agree on terms with the club. Essentially, the club refused to let him go, and he has since had to stay at the club until the end of the current La Liga season. The club recently suffered a 3-1 loss against Real Madrid in El Clasico after goals from Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos, and Luka Modric. Messi’s rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, missed the game due to suffering COVID-19 and was in isolation. Barcelona’s president Josep Bartomeu has recently resigned from the club after an impending vote by the club’s board that was set to kick him out. Messi’s intent to leave the club was a huge blow to the club in a year when it has lost over 88 million euros after the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Messi is no doubt shouldering the club and has shouldered it for quite a while.
World’s Best Footballer
Messi joined the club as a teenager and is today the world’s best football player. Messi later came out to say that he had wanted to leave the club for a while but was bound by his contract. Back in 2017, his contract required him to express intent to leave before June 2020, allowing him to leave the club in this year’s summer. However, he got in a tussle with the club and could not leave as it would have cost over seven hundred million euros for him to leave the club. Sources indicate that the actual deadline for expressing intent to leave would have been May 30th, but that is now water under the bridge as Messi agreed to stay.
Messi’s Agent is His Dad
Messi’s agent and dad, Jorge Messi, had to intervene for the star, and Messi later decided to stay at the Catalan club. However, in my view, Messi staying could do more harm than good. Messi wanting to leave soils the bowl as he now appears to be staying for the sake of contractual clauses. Pressure kills results, and even as Messi has done remarkably well at the club, the current spat could mean that he has lost his passion for playing for the club. A player like Messi is a huge asset for a team like Barcelona. Even as they have the resources to incentivize a player to stay, I feel like Messi is beyond monetary persuasion. Barcelona should have let Messi go, even as a sign of respect and as a way to honor him and his contribution to the club. Messi has been a remarkable player and the best globally, and with his status and talent, he should have had the chance to leave without coercion or legal issues.
Clubs such as Manchester City that can afford the 700 million Euros should have also expressed interest and committed to buying the player for the fee. I know Messi is 32 years old and may seem a short-term investment for that amount of money. However, Messi is the best and has proven himself as a player and a leader. He would have had a tremendous impact in a club such as Manchester City and could have brought exceptional quality to the English Premier League. Messi is the player to beat, and so far, only Cristiano Ronaldo has come close to topping Messi’s expertise.