One of the biggest stories of the year is easily going to be the Lionel Messi saga over at the Nou Camp. After many, many years of success with Barcelona, it appears as if the Argentine wizard is on his way out of the club.
The Spanish giants are quite clearly trying to do everything in their power to keep hold of him, and it’s not hard to see why. The problem is that the politics involved in this move have cast a cloud over Messi’s career for longer than just the last few months, and that’s a fact.
Messi, despite being 33, is still known for being the best player in world football – and that’s been the case for longer than we can remember.
Presidential hopeful Victor Font had the following to say on the matter.
“It would be a surprise because it seems his decision is firm,” Font said.
“It would be a very positive surprise. But, as I’ve always said until it is done there is always hope, so let’s keep hoping this will be the case.”
“What Messi wants is to compete and to win,” he told BBC Sport.
“I am sure that he knows one of the best coaches he has had is Pep and therefore he trusts that Pep can help him win again.
“Manchester City is one of the strongest squads in Europe these days and I think that the combination of that and Pep’s leadership is probably why Messi is thinking that would be a good option.”
If there’s one team out there who can afford Messi and tempt him way from Spanish football, it’s Manchester City. It might make some football fans feel a little bit ill and it probably isn’t going to be the smoothest of transitions, but let’s face it, City are best positioned to make it happen.
Lionel Messi is the kind of footballer that they will remember for years to come, and this summer is going to be a defining moment in that legacy. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of him staying with Barca, which we tend to believe is what’s going to happen, but there also isn’t much wrong with him leaving, either.
Destiny is a funny thing and maybe, just maybe, Messi’s path takes him away from Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo made the switch from Real Madrid to Juventus and he hasn’t looked back since, with the only thing missing being a European Cup triumph with the Old Lady.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already pushed us into a difficult situation in regards to what football is going to look like between now and 2021, but if we can just distract ourselves for a moment with standard transfer talk, things will start to feel a bit more normal again.
If Manchester City hadn’t seen their European ban being overturned then we almost certainly would’ve had them being ruled out of the running to sign Messi.
As it is, though, this saga only just seems to be getting started.