It has been a long and atypical season for Barcelona in La Liga and in Champions League, that’s no secret for anyone. Things didn’t look too well since the ending of last season, when Lionel Messi told the team he wanted to leave, and it practically stopped the whole football world. In the end, Josep Maria Bartomeu forced him to stay, which might just turn out to be his biggest accomplishment as club president, if the Argentinian superstar finally agrees to stay.
Bartomeu is now out of the team and could even go to jail, after making many wrong choices as team president in the past few years. Him being there was probably the cause of Messi wanting to leave, but now that he’s gone, and Joan Laporta is back officially, Messi could decide to change his mind and stay, and negotiations have officially begun.
In fact, making sure that Messi stays with the club was one of Laporta’s biggest promises in his campaign, so now he must go to work and try to deliver.
Barcelona was humiliated in Champions League, kicked out by PSG with a 5-2 overall score in the round of 16. However, the team has been improving quite impressively in the past few games, and now they have a real shot at La Liga’s title, being only one point behind Real Madrid and 3 behind Atletico Madrid, with one less game played than each.
They also have a chance to win the Copa del Rey title soon, as they’re already in the final, and will face Athletic Bilbao for that trophy. Messi has been playing in each and every game, and after being criticized during the entire first half of the season, he’s now in top shape, as the league’s top scorer, and leading his team to two possible titles, something that seemed far away just a few weeks ago.
You can tell he feels better since Bartomeu left, and he’s probably hoping to be able to play in front of his fans again, something that could make him stay for now.
What can Laporta offer Messi so he could stay?
Apparently, there has been discussions about offering Messi a life-long contract, which means he would be a part of the team from now on, even after he retires. His specific role hasn’t been determined yet, but this would link him to the team forever, as many would expect.
Laporta could even let him go out and play his final years in the MLS or Qatar, and then come back to the team. This is certainly appealing to Messi, not only for symbolic and affective reasons, but of course, also for monetary implications.
What will he do? We still have to wait and see, but the ending of the season is not too far away, so he will have to make a decision soon, and we’ll be waiting anxiously for the news.