Nothing is forever, and Lionel Messi finally got it: Barcelona was turning him into a dying footballer, in a player below what he is, in a man who was no longer happy on the court. And what do you play football for if not to be happy? It is valid for everyone, also for Messi. Be careful: the matter does not go through the money you earn or stop winning, nor with the fact that you have been the top scorer and assistant in the last Spanish League. All very well, but Messi does not play football for that.
Messi plays football to win big, and that is something that Barcelona could no longer guarantee him, because it had long since stopped being a winning team. What he had been guaranteeing, in fact, were frightening level frustrations in the last four seasons in the Champions League, the true measure of Messi along with the World Cup.
“Indeed, the club has received this burofax in which the player expresses his will to terminate his contract and leave the club,” they told Infobae Barcelona sources.
The impact was enormous today on a club associated with success for the past 15 years, but which has a history of victimhood that spanned decades. A victimhood from which Johan Cruyff took him out about 30 years ago, and that Messi buried even more deeply with his fabulous decade and a half dressed as a Barça player. It was only in 1992 that Barcelona won their first European Cup. Difficult situation, because Real Madrid had already won six. That four joined with Messi in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015 – they must have been more – strengthened the club’s self-esteem like never before. Until it sank again and progressively doubted with the triplet of titles in Madrid’s Champions League (2016, 2017 and 2018), which came in parallel with five years of debacles against Atlético de Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
After so many frustrations, and now without Messi, Barcelona is in danger of falling back into complacency and victimhood in which it lived during an important part of its history. And neither Cruyff nor Messi will be able to help him.
The possibility of Messi playing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami is real, but premature. First there is the real Inter, Milan, Manchester City and some other club that has the money, the history and an attractive proposition. Messi will not leave Europe yet, Miami and Rosario will have to wait. It is also in the interest of UEFA, for which the “10” is an essential product. Aleksandr Ceferin, its president, made it clear during an interview with Infobae in 2019.
– How European is Messi?
– I think it’s half European.
– Believe so? Half and half?
– Yes, half and half. He is a great player, an enjoyment for the senses. He is different, he was born to play soccer (…). Our product is a global product. You can think what you want, but the Champions League is seen all over the world. About 70 percent of the audience is from outside Europe.
It is clear: for UEFA it would not be a good business for Messi to leave its orbit, I would lose a lot of money and possibilities. For this reason, although the “financial fair play” is still in force, there should be no decisive obstacles for the Argentine to disembark at a great club. It suits him, it suits the club, it suits UEFA.
In that interview, Ceferin mentioned Luis Suárez, who is no longer at Barcelona. To think that the Rosario left because of the club’s mistreatment of the Uruguayan would be too much, because the decision is the product of a long maturation. But the fact that the Uruguayan striker found out by phone that Koeman did not have him enabled a little revenge for the Messi: communicate to the club through a cold and impersonal “burofax” that his decision is to leave. Eye for an eye.
A “burofax” that is not a fax, even if it looks like it. “Burofax” is how reliable communication is called in Spain. A couple of decades ago these communications arrived by fax, today they are still called “burofax”, but they lead to an email address.
“This is the first chapter of something that will be extended yet, the matter is not resolved”, Barcelona sources pointed out to Infobae. The Messi maintain that the season continued until the end of August, since the Champions League final was played on the 23rd of this month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The club sticks to the contractual date established on May 31, but knows that in a litigation they would not agree. And nobody wants to get to litigation.
The solution is simple: Messi wants to leave, and in that there is no going back. Barcelona, groggy, will need to make some money from the bad news. That is where the agreement passes, since the club and the team will continue to exist without Messi, to which Transfermarket is trading today at 112 million dollars.
Bartomeu did not imagine this moment in December 2017, during a conversation with Infobae in Barcelona. The club was getting rid of Javier Mascherano, to whom it promised a “humane treatment”, and the prospect of a Messi outside the Camp Nou was unimaginable for the president: “I sleep soundly, I sleep very quietly because I have the best player in the world at this club”.
The tranquility was relative, because the departure of another friend of Messi, the Brazilian Neymar, had set off the alarms in the Catalan club: the contract termination clause was not up to what the Argentine implied.
“When Neymar left we realized that the clause was out of date and we opted to update it. Today we are in an environment in which there are state clubs, with other support, other economic support ”. That update of the exit clause to $ 700 million included another detail: At the end of each season, Messi had the possibility of leaving the club. And that moment came.
As it was also time for the “state clubs”. Messi leaves “more than a club”, as he likes to present himself to Barcelona, and will disembark in teams that are “much more than a club”, either thanks to Arab money, Chinese money or that of some other country and millionaire to what about. For years and years, Florentino Pérez promptly sent Messi’s father his offer to dress him in white. No longer. There was never any predisposition of the player, but now there is no money in Real Madrid for such a step.
A Messi freed from the grief that had enveloped him at Barcelona for a long time and recharged at the age of 33 by the enthusiasm that any new team and project generates is, necessarily, a Messi that benefits the national team. A Messi who will arrive in Qatar in 2022 with a different energy than that generated in that “groundhog day” in which he lived for too many years. A Messi who will play the World Cup in the desert and then will have to rethink his future and answer a question: What if I play the 2026 World Cup in the United States? At 39, offers and motivations will not be lacking. Thanks to the fact that he understood that nothing is forever and said goodbye to Barcelona, Lionel Andrés Messi has more years, happiness and football ahead of him today than yesterday.
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