The football superstar confirms he will be staying to avoid any legal issues with the Catalan club
By: Emmanuel Mendez
After weeks of rumors and speculations, Messi confirms he will stay with the Spanish club for the upcoming season. After this year’s quarter final Champions League game against Bayern Munich resulted in a humiliating 8-2 defeat, many football fans noticed Messi was upset. This resulted in a lot of rumors and speculation that he was looking to leave his club.
This would be a huge shock to the football community, considering he has been at the club since the age of 13. He had become the face of FC Barcelona the past decade and has said before that he plans to retire there. This was never considered a possibility due to the amount of respect he has for his club, and his weekly wages being simply too high for other clubs to negotiate.
After the disastrous Champion League runs in the past three seasons with comebacks by Roma in 2018 and Liverpool FC in 2019, Messi`s time at the Catalan club seems to be up. Rumors by many journalists and social media started to spread saying other rich clubs who didn’t suffer from the ongoing pandemic crisis were interested in signing Messi.
PSG and Juventus were willing to offer higher wages to Messi, which could convince the Argentinian player to accept. The club that was favored for the Argentinian’s signature was Manchester City. Manchester City wanted to get the player on a free transfer, but Messi was still in contract with Barcelona. Reports told the media that Messi and his agent accepted to join Manchester City and the player was willing to leave Barcelona this year.
FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu received a lot of threats and hate by the Barca fans for almost letting Messi leave the club after so many successful years. Bartomeu fought hard to keep Messi and FC Barcelona put out a statement saying Messi cannot leave the club unless any other team can pay the 700 million release clause in Messi’s contract.
Jorge Messi, Messi’s father, and agent released a statement that responded to Barcelona and La Liga, the Spanish football league, saying the 700 million release clause was supposed to end after this season and not after Messi’s contract which expires on June 30, 2021.
La Liga came back with another statement saying the release clause is still there and therefore Messi cannot leave unless another club can pay the 700 million. This was impossible for any club to pull off that move which led to Messi confirming that he was staying at FC Barcelona until the end of the upcoming season.
In an interview with Goal, Messi explains that he did want to leave this year and says that President Bartomeu promised Messi this year that he will allow him to leave if he wants to but “he didn’t keep his promise”. He also said if he wanted to leave the club without the release clause being paid, then Messi and the club would have had to go to court. Messi stated that he`d “never go to court against Barcelona because it is the club that I love and the club that has given me everything”.
Now that Messi is staying with Barcelona for the upcoming season and there is a bit of conflict behind the scenes, Barca fans will question and worry what to expect in the upcoming season. FC Barcelona has had a few key changes these past few weeks with a new manager in Ronald Koeman, new players signed, and players that were on loan at other clubs returning to Barca like Phillippe Coutinho. The new season is set to kick off for Barca on September 27th when they play against Villareal FC. This season is very important for the future of Messi and FC Barcelona.