Barcelona were almost left shell-shocked by the A-League All Stars until a late strike from Ansu Fati gave them a win on Wednesday.
In astonishing breaking news this week, Leo Messi and FC Barcelona are not able to sign the contract that was verbally agreed due to “financial implications and regulations placed by La Liga”.
Barca have released an official statement stating that the club’s longest serving and greatest ever player in Leo Messi will be leaving the Camp Nou.
Messi has played 778 games, scored 672 goals and ended up with 305 assists. Messi has done it all with Barca with ten La Liga titles, seven Copa Del Rey titles, eight Supercopa De Espana titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cup and three Club World Cups.
FC Barcelona have essentially blamed the La Liga management for being unable to sign Leo Messi. Messi arrived at the Camp Nou with father Jorge to sign a new deal until he was informed that it was financially not possible.
Many speculations point to it being a ploy by the club to let La Liga know that the greatest player of all time and someone as iconic with as much influence and a huge tourism attraction is leaving the Spanish league and in hope, La Liga taking a back seat in their ruling and allowing FCB to re-sign Messi.
Messi’s departure is a massive loss for not only Barcelona, but Spain. At one point in time, Messi had so much influence in Spain that he was being named responsible for the sway in political votes for the prime minister of Spain.
In Argentina, it goes without saying he is the most recognised figure in the country and the national team heavily relies on him.
Not only does Messi’s departure create a huge hole in the viewership and attraction of La Liga, but since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juve, and now Messi, El Clasico has lost some sort of novelty and will undoubtedly lose many eyeballs.
However, it has been made official that he will be leaving the club that leaves billions of football fans asking where is Messi going?
PSG have initiated formal talks with Messi and his agent about bringing him to Paris to play alongside his former teammate Neymar, and the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria and not to mention rival Sergio Ramos.
Realistically, PSG are one of the only clubs that can afford Messi and his wages. Pundits put Messi’s estimated worth at about £80 million ($151 million).
PSG are one of the favourites to sign on a short-term contract and I would think this move might be favourable to Messi as he has publicly stated his friendship and closeness with Neymar and once said he needs Neymar back to win the Champions League again. This move could be on.
Manchester City are never out of the question having billionaire owners with deep pockets and Pep Guardiola as coach. He has a very close relationship with Messi. Guardiola has proudly mentioned many times that Messi is the greatest player he has ever managed.
However after the recent record-breaking signing of Jack Grealish for £100 million ($188 million) and Grealish being handed the number ten jersey, the signing is not all that likely.
Harry Kane was on City’s radar after Kane refused to attend Spurs’ first two training sessions however the move now seems unlikely as Kane is legally bound to Spurs and Daniel Levy is refusing to allow him to depart Tottenham.
I can never formally cross out City from such a monumental signing as the funds are there and Messi has been encouraged for years to try out the most competitive league in the world, the Premier League.
Another club that has sparked interest is Chelsea. Chelsea have been expressing interest in the big man Romelu Lukaku, and launched a bid of over £85 million ($160 million) have been shot into the media as another club who could be interested in landing the GOAT.
At 34, there is speculation of Messi thinking about the MLS or a retiree league. Messi recently vacationed in Miami with his family and some rumours are spreading that he could be interested in moving to the family-friendly lifestyle in the US.
However, I have my doubts on this right now. Maybe one day, but Messi is evidently too elite for the MLS currently and quite frankly no club could afford his wage. He currently earns €1,360,000 ($2,175,000) per week at Barcelona and it is likely Messi will need to take a substantial cut anywhere he goes.
Lionel Messi has left a legacy at Barcelona like no other, becoming one of the only players in history where you could likely use the phrase ‘bigger than the club’.
His impact has been felt in Spain and across the globe and a huge hole will be left in Barcelona. If I had my guess, Messi is off to the Parc des Princes in a hope to win the Champions League or he is staying at the Camp Nou and Barca’s genius plan of publicly threatening the La Liga board with Messi’s departure pays off.
Will the bosses of La Liga cave? Where is he going?