Millions of Youth Players Around the World Look Up to Messi …
What Does This Famous Player & Icon Want?
Few players ever play for just one club but that is exactly the story … Messi has only ever played for Barcelona. Now he wants to leave. Messi has helped his club to countless victories including 10 league titles and four Champions Leagues.
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player in soccer history. Even die-hard fans of Cristiano Ronaldo know Messi is the ‘other’ top contender of the title. Messi has collected six Ballons d’Or playing for Barcelona. Ronaldo has won five, four with Real Madrid and one with Manchester United.
The Argentinian earns more money than most families will earn in generations, collecting a $104M a year according to Forbes which reports his current “Barcelona contract is through 2020-21 and pays him over $80 million annually.” And remember, he also has a lifelong deal with Adidas.
Messi is so famous an influencer and icon that in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) used Messi in its worldwide campaign to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now, Messi wants to walk out of Barcelona. With over 430 goals scored, Messi is the La Liga record holder and he announced his plans to exit the club last week, citing an often overlooked and relatively unknown clause of his contract.
Messi did not show up for practice, the first with the team’s new coach Ronald Koeman.
Why is one of the most famous soccer player to ever kick the soccer ball wanting to end his lifelong relationship with the club that developed him since he was a young youth player of 13-years old? At age 33, after twenty years wearing the Barcelona Jersey, what is Messi looking for?
What could Barcelona have done to alienate their most famous player? Barcelona has won ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey.
This is not a money play. It is a matter of soccer pride.
The loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals crystalized how poorly the Spanish giant performed.
Losing 8-2 to the great german powerhouse was more than embarrassing, it was proof that the revered global recognition for Barcelona’s style of play and prowess of player development had decayed — and been run over by Bundesliga engineering.
While the details of Messi’s contract are not known, according to the New York Times, this could translate into Barcelona not getting a penny of compensation.
The NYTimes article asks, “Barcelona is not Barcelona without Messi. But would Messi be Messi without Barcelona?” This is a great question.
Surely the fans will follow Messi anywhere, and everyone will want to see Messi play at a different club, even if only for the novelty factor.
When and if Messi changes clubs, it will be a monumental moment in soccer history which will be long remembered and talked about.
Can Messi just walk out? Obviously his departure is being disputed by his club. Recently, La Liga agreed with Barcelona’s position, confirming that any club signing Messi would trigger a €700 million payout. Messi disagrees, believing can opt-out without a fee. According to reports, Messi does have the ability to leave this year as it is the last year of his contract.
Bartomeu (September 2019): “Messi has a four year contract that we signed two years ago, and in the last year of his contract, the 2020/21 season, he has the option to leave Barça before the season starts.” pic.twitter.com/gWBbz8WH84— Forward Barça (@ForwardBarca) August 29, 2020
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is reported to be meeting with Messi’s father, Jorge Messi this week but the conflict between the famous player and club is growing every day.
While the Catalan club’s restructuring project and overhaul of the squad were supposed to bring back the luster to the legacy, how will Barcelona fair after Messi, its pride and joy, walks off?
After all, Barcelona jersey sales rank fourth after Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich — according to Statista. Without Messi, would Barcelona sell 1.9 million jerseys? Man United sales of 3.2 million jerseys during the same 2018/19 season dwarf the Spanish club’s effort even with Messi’s name on the back.
Last year it would have been unthinkable for Messi to leave Barcelona.
Now the question is where will he go and how quickly can I see him play in his new club’s jersey? And, buy his new jersey?