Is Messi leaving FC Barcelona?

by Desmond Yu

Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best players or the greatest of all time. He’s always associated with one of the worlds best teams in the world, FC Barcelona, and has won 10 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League titles, and 6 Copa del Reys with the Catalan giants. However, recently his future with the club looks bleak.

 

His team’s recent performances in the Champions League was proved disastrous, getting humiliated 8-2 to FC Bayern in the quarter finals. However, this wasn't the only disastrous moment for the champions league for Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. They played Liverpool in the semi finals last year, and won the first leg 3-0, but sadly lost 4-0 on the second leg. Heart break for Barcelona fans. The year before that, FC Barcelona faced Roma in the quarter finals and won 4-1 the first leg, but lost 3-0 in the second leg. It wasn't just the recent Champions League performances, but also the decisions from Barcelona’s board frustrated Lionel Messi. 

 

Barcelona's board bought Griezmann when Lionel Messi wanted Barcelona to buy Neymar Jr. from PSG. Barcelona's board also sold Arthur Melo, a talented midfielder (24 years old), to Juventus and bought Pjanic, an aging midfielder (30 years old). Nine of the Barcelona squad that are usually starters are over the age of 30! Retirement for soccer players are 35 and their prime is 25-27. Barcelona's board also removed Ernesto Valverde from management of Barcelona when Messi was against that idea in the 2018/19 season. All of these actions frustrated Messi and things are getting tense between FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi wants to activate his contract that “states” he could leave Barcelona to other teams for free. However, Barcelona stated that part of his contract clause has expired and that clubs have to pay 700 million euros in order to buy Lionel Messi. To make sense of how serious things are between the club and player, Barcelona are willing to take the situation to court. To put more pressure on FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi decided not to show up to recent practices with the Calatan club. Messi tells Ronald Koeman, the new club manager, that he no longer sees a future at FC Barcelona. 

 

Many have been speculating that top European clubs such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus, Inter Milan, Paris Saint German, and many more clubs want to have Lionel Messi in their clubs. To add more drama, Lionel Messi’s dad/agent, Jorge Messi, responded to news reporters, stating that Messi’s situation at Barcelona is difficult and it's difficult for him to stay in the club. Will Lionel Messi leave Barcelona, or is this all a publicity stunt to get rid of FC Barcelona’s board? If he does leave Barcelona, what club will he join? Will Lionel Messi prove himself in a top european league besides La Liga, or will he stay in Barcelona?