Ten days after Messi applied to Barcelona to leave the team, he suddenly changed his position and announced that he would stay with the team.
Some people believe that Messi’s decision will disappoint Manchester City and fans who want to see him play in the Premier League. Although Manchester City did not show a strong desire to bring Messi to the Premier League, according to sources, the club did put a lot of effort into signing the 33-year-old Messi.
In the departure from the team that lasted for nearly two weeks, Messi first sent a Burofax fax to the Barcelona club to express his wish to leave. However, Barcelona insisted that in Messi's contract, the free leave clause at the end of the season has expired-La Liga also supports this position.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, flew to Barcelona from Argentina to have a conversation with the Barcelona executives. On Friday afternoon local time, the Messi team issued the first official statement: Jorge wrote a letter to La Liga chairman Tevas, criticizing La Liga’s position and reiterating Messi’s right to leave Barcelona.
However, just a few hours later, Messi announced his decision in a video interview: Messi will stay in the club he "loves".
You must be wondering, what happened behind this soap opera?
In an interview with Goal.com, Messi’s most important message was: he withdrew his decision to leave Barcelona this summer.
"I will never go to court with the club of my life. That's why I will stay in Barcelona."
Messi didn't change his mind. He decided to stay on the team because he realized that if he didn't go to court with his beloved club, he could not leave by force. "I told the (club) president that I want to leave. My days in Barcelona are over." Messi said, "I always hope to end my career in Barcelona, but in the past very difficult year, I suffered a lot. Torture. I want to find new goals, new atmospheres and new challenges. Being eliminated in the Champions League hurts me very much, but this is not the reason for my determination. Too many things have led me to make this decision, the past year I'm all thinking (leaving the team)."
In the interview, Messi also directly attacked Barcelona's top leaders in recent years, especially the club chairman Bartomeu.
"I always wanted a successful plan to continue to win the championship with the club and continue to carry forward the spirit of Barcelona. But for a long time, they did not have any clear plans, only drawing cakes, but in all aspects. There has been a mistake. I want to fight hard instead of being hit hard like I have played against Roma, Liverpool and Bayern over the years."
Messi still wants to leave Barcelona. The reason why he decided to leave the team now is because he realized that if he leaves the team forcibly, he will have to go to court with Barcelona for a protracted legal battle. Messi still believes that from a legal perspective, he has the right to leave the team for free this summer, but Barcelona's position is very tough: if another club wants to take Messi away, it must pay up to 700 million euros in terms of termination fees.
"I will stay at the club, because the only way to leave the team is to pay the termination fee, which is obviously impossible." Messi said, "or see you in court... That's crazy. I will never go to court with Barcelona. , Because this is the club I love. I have given me everything since I came here. It is the club of my life. I have also given everything for Barcelona. At will, no matter what the situation, I will not force it Leaving the team and fighting the club."
Messi's attitude is very clear: in the legal interpretation of the contract terms and the way he communicates with the club, he does not admit that he has made any mistakes.
"We are sure that I can leave the team freely. Bartomeu always tells me that after the season, I can decide whether to leave or not." Messi said, "So, sending that Burofax fax is an official way. (Through it) tell the club that my contract is over and will not be renewed. I don’t want to fight the club, I just want to prove to them that I have made a decision."
But Messi also implicitly admitted,
Earlier this week, "The Athletic" interviewed two Spanish legal experts. Although their views were slightly different, they both questioned Messi's position. "In Europe, I have talked with many colleagues in the legal profession, and none of them understand Messi's position." A lawyer said.
From Messi's point of view, the biggest mistake he made was not a misunderstanding of the terms of the contract, but a credulous belief in Bartomeu.
Messi always believes that if he wants to leave Barcelona, he should enjoy such legal rights. In the interview, Messi mentioned the same sentence many times: "I have every right to leave the team for free." However, he knows that it is difficult for him to truly exercise this power.
Messi’s family believes that they are legal and morally tenable, but they have to accept defeat in this struggle with Barcelona’s top leaders. "This is indeed a failure for Messi." A source familiar with Messi's family said, "Although he is the best player in the world, he still cannot decide his own destiny. This is shocking."
The relationship between Messi and Bartomeu, as well as the current board members of the club, is already terrible. It is not surprising that he directly attacked Bartomeu in the interview. In addition, if Messi continues to play for Barcelona for at least one year, La Liga chairman Tevas will certainly be relieved, because Messi is the most famous and most commercially valuable star in La Liga.
In contrast, the mood of Barcelona fans may be more complicated. A club member said that he was very happy to see Messi staying on the team, but he also added that
10 days ago, when Messi announced his intention to leave the team, Barcelona quickly responded and expressed the club's legal position. However, four hours after the release of Messi’s interview, the headline news on Barcelona’s official website was still “Coutinho’s return to training”... It was not until this morning local time that Barcelona shared what Messi said on social media. Words: "I will do my best, and my love for Barcelona will never change."
"In fact, Bartomeu can be said to have won a big victory." A source who was convinced that Messi will leave Barcelona said. "Although Bartomeu is weak, he still has more than the best player in the world. More power."
In a sense, although Bartomeu has always had a poor reputation, after experiencing this incident, he can claim that he defended the club's interests during a very difficult period.
A source close to Barcelona believes that although Messi has no mercy on Bartomeu’s criticism, he is unlikely to resign immediately. If Bartomeu leaves now, it will only create more problems for the club, because the team's competitive plan this season will definitely be affected.
In addition, although Messi has announced his stay, those Barcelona fans who have been trying to force Bartomeu to leave immediately are unlikely to change their positions. According to a source close to a candidate for Barcelona’s new chairmanship, he feels that Bartomeu may still be impeached. "The club’s financial problems continue, and all other board issues have never been resolved."
According to Barcelona sources, this club has provided Messi with a two-year contract extension, which Messi can sign at any time. No matter who the next club chairman is, he will do his best to ensure that Messi will not leave the team for free next summer.
In the interview, Messi did not disclose how long he intends to stay in Barcelona, only that he will fulfill the last 12 months of the contract and go all out for the team under the leadership of the new coach Koeman.
"I don't know what will happen in the future." Messi said, "We have a new coach, new ideas, which is good. But we have to look at the chemistry of the team to see if this is enough Let us improve our competitiveness. In any case, I will give my best efforts."
No one can predict what Barcelona will achieve in the 2020-21 season under Coman's leadership. But by June 10 next year, Barcelona will elect a new chairman, and the latter is likely to bring some of Messi’s former teammates back to the Nou Camp... Considering this situation, Messi may change again idea.
If Messi is really interested in joining other clubs as a free agent next summer, then in January, there will definitely be many clubs offering him an olive branch.
It is worth noting that
After the 2018 World Cup, Messi also missed several games of the Argentine national team because he was disappointed with the team's results. But it was more like a "vacation"-in March of the following year, Messi wore the armband of the Argentine national team.
If you watched Messi’s interview video, it’s hard not to believe that he was indeed hurt last season and is determined to leave. For Messi, this is a very difficult decision. Messi admitted that his family "cried" when he told his wife and children what he thought.
However, Barcelona's tough stance prevented Messi from leaving. This is not a strategy to force Bartomeu to resign, or to ask Barcelona to sign Neymar or any other player. Messi really wants to leave Barcelona.
When Messi first signaled that he wanted to leave Barcelona, Manchester City did not reveal a strong desire to bring Messi to the Premier League, but according to sources, the club is indeed interested in signing with Messi. now,
A Manchester City source suggested that Bartomeu may still need to sell Messi (the purpose is to balance the accounts, so that there is no personal responsibility for the club’s losses), so it is for Manchester City to sign for Messi in the next few weeks. West is still an option.
From the perspective of conspiracy theories, Bartomeu wants to sell Messi and Messi also wants to leave Barcelona to join Manchester City, but neither of them wants to be regarded as "bad guys"... Then through a video interview, Messi is equivalent to kicking the ball to Bartomeu, and then it depends on how Bartomeu takes the move.
So, does this interview mark the end of a farce, or is it just a carefully designed negotiation strategy? It's hard to tell. At least inside Manchester City, there are still people who think this chapter is not completely over.
Yes. According to sources, in the two weeks before Messi sent the Burofax fax to Barcelona, Manchester City had been in contact with Messi and his team and had calculated how much money it might cost to sign Messi. As long as Messi can leave Barcelona, Manchester City will immediately sign with him.
Until last Sunday, the Messi team was still satisfied with the progress of things. A source told "The Athletic" that Messi even reiterated his desire to join Manchester City on Friday morning... If this statement is true, considering that Messi is likely to film the interview video on Friday or even Thursday, then It shows that Messi is really putting pressure on Bartomeu. In any case, as long as Messi leaves Barcelona, Manchester City will take him away-unfortunately, Messi is trapped by Barcelona.
Manchester City's signing strategy will not change much. Manchester City has been pursuing Napoli's defender Coulibaly and believes that they have the ability to sign Messi and Coulibaly at the same time, and may even sign a third new aid. According to sources, in addition to Messi, Manchester City is also investigating another striker.
The main factors that determine Guardiola's contract extension with Manchester City include: whether the team will have a strong lineup next season, whether the players are full of motivation and desire to compete for honor, and are willing to continue to listen to his guidance in the next few years.
If Messi joins Manchester City to bring an improvement in the team's strength, then Guardiola is indeed more likely to renew-this pair of masters and apprentices may stay at Manchester City for two or three years before leaving. But even without Messi, Manchester City is still strengthening the team's lineup, perhaps enough to persuade Guardiola to continue to cooperate with the team.