Lionel Messi, arguably the best player of all time, has been the face of FC Barcelona for the past 20 years. Since his very first professional football game in 2005 he has been playing there. Since then he grew up to win everything for Barcelona that can be won. The highlight of course were the 2009 and 2015 triple seasons, where Messi and his team won the La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Up until 2020 they even were the only club to manage to win the triple twice, but now FC Bayern Munich equaled their record. Messi also won the Ballon d’Or six times while playing for Barcelona. Before this season most football fans thought he would finish his career at Barcelona, but now a fax has been leaked which states that Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona.
A new coach
After Barcelona finished one of the most disappointing seasons in recent years with an 8:2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, they decided to sack their coach Quique Setién. Ronald Koeman was appointed to lead Barcelona into the next season and he seems to be a main reason for Messi’s urge to leave. Reports from ksta.de state that Koeman told the Argentinean superstar that “The privileges in the squad are over, everything needs to be done for the team. I will be inflexible, you have to think of the team.” Luis Suarez apparently was called by the new coach as well, who told him that he wasn’t planning with him. Messi, who some even considered bigger than the club itself and who’s friends with Suarez, didn’t like to hear these news.
Encouragement from retired and active players
Many players reacted to the news by encouraging Messi. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid star Luis Figo tweeted: “Wow!! Another historical Moment!!!”. Even the catalanian legend Carles Puyol wrote on twitter: “Respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend.” Messi’s teammate Luis Suarez reacted to the news by tweeting clapping hands.
Where will Messi go?
While football fans all over the world wish for him to come to their club, there are only a few ones that make sense. At Barcelona Messi earned an astonishing 26€ million per year. Not many clubs are able to pay him such a high amount of money. Apart from that Messi definitely wants to have the best chances to win the Champions League again. So let’s see what the possible destinations are.
1. Inter Milan
There have been many rumours, stating that Messi will come to the Italian team in recent history. After being taken over by the chinese mogul Suning there is no doubt that they could handle his salary. However, Inter didn’t even manage to play in the Champions League Knockout stage this year, so it doesn’t make sense for Lionel Messi to come to Inter Mailand with no chance of winning the Champions League.
2. Manchester City
After Pep Guardiola managed to win the triple with Barcelona in 2009 and left them in 2011, Messi always wanted to play with his favourite manager again. There is no doubt that the sheik-club Manchester City can afford him. They even were the Champions League favourites before the season. There is really no reason for Messi not to go to the English club, therefore City is definitely in the pole position in the race for Lionel Messi.
3. FC Bayern Munich
For Messi to go to the current Champions League winner sound completely logical at first, but there are some stones in the way. Bayern is notorious for not paying much money, neither for salary nor for transfer fees. Therefore a move to the German record champions could only happen, if Messi is willing to take a pay-cut.
4. Paris Saint Germain
Since Neymar left Barcelona it has been going downhill for the Catalans and uphill for the Brazilian superstar. PSG were even in the Champions League final this year. Messi and Neymar also had a magnificent relationship, when playing together in Spain. Saint Germain, being sponsored by the firm Qatar sports Investments, can definitely afford his salary. This deal would make absolute sense for both sides.
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