Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, known simply as Leo Messi by most, is widely considered one of the best soccer players in the world. He joined Barça as a youth after six years of training with Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina. He joined the club’s first team in 2004 and has played with them ever since, scoring more than 400 league goals in the process. Messi holds the records for the most goals and hat-tricks in La Liga. And his name is forever tied to FC Barcelona.
But “forever” apparently doesn’t last forever. According to the Spanish press, the contract renewal talks between Messi and Barça have fallen through, meaning that the player’s contract will expire in June 2021.
Apparently, the Argentinian football legend has grown disillusioned with the team. Reports have emerged that the player is fed up with being blamed for “everything that goes wrong with the club”, someone close to the player told the press. He blames the club for not providing him with proper player support, especially for not making an effort to bring back Neymar to the club – Barça recently offered Griezmann, Umtiti, and Ousmane Dembélé in exchange for the Brazilian footballer, but PSG apparently only wants to sign Dembele, asking for a bit over $93 million (plus the French forward) to let their star go.
Besides, Messi feels that the Catalan club blames him for the poor performance of the team since Spain’s soccer clubs returned to play this year, leading to rivals Real Madrid coming just a couple of points from winning the season.
Messi intended to stay with Barça for as long as his physical form allows it… but he apparently changed his mind in the light of all of the above (and then some). It appears that the career of the Argentine legend with the Catalan team is coming to an end.
Suarez chimes in
In a recent interview, Barcelona striker Luis Suárez decided to break the silence on Messi’s potential departure from the team. The Uruguay player, Barça’s third-highest goalscorer, and Messi’s strike partner apparently intends to support his teammate and friend, considering that he’ll make the right decision for him and his family. “Being his friend, I will always recommend that he is where he feels comfortable and happy,” he said. “If he is happy in Barcelona, [then] keep him in Barcelona. If he needs a change, he will know what he needs for him and for his wellbeing.”
In the meantime, Messi keeps making history with Barcelona. In a recent victory over Real Valladolid, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has set up Arturo Vidal for the winning goal, thus becoming the first player in the Spanish top-flight league to score 20 goals and 20 assists in a single season, and second to Thierry Henry alone across Europe’s top 5 soccer leagues.