Lionel Messi: A boon or bane for Barça?
On August 8, 2021, during a press conference at Camp Nou, when a tearful Lionel Messi revealed that he never wanted to leave his boyhood club, FC Barcelona (Barça), fans thought the club alone was responsible for his departure. Many of them criticized it, saying it was unfair with the legend, but nobody tried to find out what the truth was.
If you too got swayed by the Argentinian footballer’s conference, here’s what you should know first.
Did Messi improve Barça’s condition or made it worse?
In 1997, when Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, his father, Jorge Messi, was tensed about paying for his treatment. He tried contacting many football clubs for help in exchange for his son’s talent, but none of them were ready for such a big investment. Three years later, when Jorge took Lionel for Barça’s trial training session, the club’s then technical director, Charly Rexach, was enchanted by his performance.
Charly wanted to sign Messi and was ready to fund his treatment. He even agreed to import all his family members to Barcelona and pay them a wage of €120,000 a year. Since then, Messi has been playing for the club, and of course, he’s taken it to great heights. He has won three European Champions Leagues, ten Spanish titles, six Golden Balls, and scored a total of 672 goals for Barça. In return, the club has also given a lot of importance to his decisions.
According to Simon Kuper’s book The Barcelona Complex: Lionel Messi and the Making, the management always contacted Messi before appointing any coach or signing any new player. Sandro Rosell, Barça’s president from 2010 to 2014, was quoted in the book saying that Messi was very particular about what he wanted. There was a time when his expression and body language were enough for everyone to understand whether he was in agreement or disagreement with a suggestion.
On top of that, his father’s demands for wages were endless. Despite Messi being paid more than €555 million ($674 million) in 2017, Jorge wanted more money for his son. Though it’s doubtful whether or not the player knew about his father’s demands, he bled the club dry. Plus, the pandemic and Spanish League’s strict rules only increased the problems for Barça.
Since the club was solely dependent on tourism when stadiums emptied, there was no source of income for them. As for La Liga’s rules, until Barça lessened its spending, they wouldn’t be allowed to participate in future tournaments. If the club reduced Messi’s salary, or in the rare case, didn’t pay him at all, then too it wouldn’t be able to reach that mark. It was basically a dead-end for the club, and probably that’s why it had to let go of its star player.
Going through the article, you must have understood that it wasn’t the club’s fault all along. Messi also had a part to play in it, and so had the circumstances. If things were better, Leo would have never moved to Paris St Germain, the team with which he’s playing now.
More in Football
Next Generation Football: 2022 World’s Top Young Rising Talents
The stakes remain as high as ever for the new generation of sports talents. The world has become accustomed to...December 7, 2021
The Best Unsung Heroes of Football
Football is full of enormously talented athletes who never receive the fanbase and recognition that they truly deserve based on merit....November 27, 2021
Will Steven Gerrard Accept Villa’s Offer?
Remember the adage – one man’s loss is another man’s gain? Well, it describes Steven Gerrard’s situation perfectly! On November 7,...November 17, 2021
Can Xavi Hernández Bring Back Barça’s Spark?
Who would’ve thought the boy who once served as Barcelona’s (Barça) midfielder would become its coach one day! Yep, you guessed...November 8, 2021
5 Aspects of Soccer That Make It So Popular
pixfly/Shutterstock: Why is soccer so popular? Australia and the US are maybe the last two countries with a sizable population where...November 5, 2021
Messi’s First Month With PSG – House Hunting, Warm Welcomes, And Lots Of High Hopes
Following a devastating departure from the only football club he was loyal to since age 13, the city of love welcomed...October 21, 2021
These Are the Most Successful Players in NBA’s History
Games organized by the National Basketball Association are among the most-watched in the world. The player’s stories are inspiring, and the...October 20, 2021
Remembering Tiger Woods’ Win At The Las Vegas Invitational, 1996
October 6, 2021, marked a golden date for Tiger Woods and his fans as he completed 25 years of defeating Davis...October 14, 2021
NBA’s Most Overlooked Players of the 2019-20 Season
The stage is set, and NBA stars are in Orlando to lay their hands on the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy. LeBron...October 7, 2021