An earthquake has shaken the football world after the news came to light that the star Leo Messi leaves Barsa, the team where he became the best player in the world in recent years.
Yes, the great world star has decided that it is time to seek a new direction in his long career at Barcelona Fútbol Club, started in 2001.
The departure of a footballer from his club has rarely aroused as much surprise as this for a generation that has grown up knowing the words «Barsa» and «Messi» as synonyms.
Both in Europe and in South America, Africa and Asia it is common to see young men on the streets wearing the Barça shirt with Leo Messi’s number 10.
And now the unimaginable happens, Messi leaves Barsa and formalizes it in a letter sent by fax to the club where he asks to execute a clause of his contract that allows him to be released from the team.
This clause makes it a condition that the star report this wish to the board before the last day of the LaLiga 2019-2020 calendar, which under normal conditions would have ended on June 10.
However, the interruption by the Covid-19 pandemic led to the tournament actually ending in early August and Leo Messi clings to this change to now ask for his contractual freedom.
Is Messi leaving Barsa or will he have to fulfill another year?
It is noteworthy that if the player does not express his wish to leave before the deadline, his contract is automatically renewed for the following season.
Before the asks if Messi leaves Barsa, the directive has limited itself to saying that they are in dialogue with the player behind closed doors, avoiding friction and harmful speculation for both parties.
In any case, if the contract is considered renewed, Messi can free himself by paying 700 million euros, as established in the termination clause.
But the Barcelona board does not want to lose its captain and after an urgent meeting of its board they have sent another fax to Messi asking him to stay another year.
Messi leaves the Barsa: antecedents of a surprise resignation
The first alert that Messi is leaving Barsa
It was on Friday, August 21, during a conversation with coach Ronald Koeman, to whom he stated that «he looked more outside than inside» the club.
Apparently the humiliating 2-8 defeat against Bayern in the Champions League weighed on his decision, although it is said that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the phone call made by coach Koeman to Uruguayan Luis Suárez.
Without hesitation, Koeman told the Uruguayan that he «did not count on him» for next season. This upset Messi, who has a deep friendship with Suárez.
The fact is that earlier in the week the worst fears of the board and fans came true: Messi leaves Barsa and also wants to do it for free.
Bad relations with the board
According to experts, Messi already had bad relations with the Catalan leadership, especially with him controversial president of Barcelona, Josep Bartomeu, whom he accused of being insincere.
Already once he was disappointed by the «little effort» put into hiring the Brazilian Neymar, who could have given him support in the attack.
Even in January he faced Eric Abidal, upset that the club did not deny rumors that he was the one who was in charge of the team and in the decisions that were made.
But if it comes true that Messi leaves Barsa, who would pay for the broken dishes is President Josep Bartomeu, who is already highly criticized for the failure of the team in the last two league tournaments.
Added to this is the recent elimination of the Champions League, where the Catalans were favorites, and now the real possibility of losing during his tenure the best player the team has had for almost two decades.
A brave decision
What is clear is that if Messi leaves Barsa it will be a risky act professionally and personally, taking into account that he arrived at Barsa very young and there he made his career to stardom.
He also enjoyed one of the best contracts in European football, accruing more than 120 million euros a year between salaries and bonuses, in addition to advertising income.
And if that wasn’t enough, Leo Messi won the Ballon d’Or 6 times as the best player in the world, largely thanks to his performance in this Spanish team.
Personally, Messi is tied to the Catalan capital. Here Leo Messi formed a family and his 3 children grew.
What options does Lionel Messi have if he leaves the team?
Surveys carried out in Argentina indicate that most of the countrymen of «El Pitufo» they accept the idea that Messi is leaving Barsa, while in Catalonia the fans totally resist it.
However, sports commentators find it very difficult for him to return to Buenos Aires to play for Newell’s Old Boys, the team in whose lower categories he was formed.
There are even polls (and bets) stating that if Messi leaves Barsa he will end up at Manchester City English, or at the Paris Saint Germain.
Newell’s Old Boys appear in the bets far behind them as a third option, but to everyone’s surprise, they are followed much further by the options of Inter Milan, Juventus of Turin and Manchester United.
In any case, this Wednesday, August 26, the sports director Ramón Planes stressed that Messi and Barsa «are a marriage that has given a lot to each other.»
During the official presentation of the Portuguese striker Francisco Trincão, the Barça spokesman bluntly assured that «we are doing an internal job to convince Leo to stay.»
The next few days will be key to knowing the outcome of this story.
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