After spending 16 seasons with his dream club FC Barcelona, Leo Messi left the club in tears in 2021 due to Barça’s financial difficulties. The FFP rules forced the Catalan club and made it unable to register Messi for the next season. Messi joined PSG on a 2+1 year deal on a free transfer.
Verbal Agreement with PSG
Lionel Messi completed football on 18th December in Lusail when he led Argentina to their first World Cup since 1986, sending the entire Argentinian nation into country-wide celebrations.
After the conclusion of the World Cup, renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano broke the news of Messi having verbally agreed to a contract extension with PSG for one more year. Nothing was signed but it was agreed that Messi will continue in Paris.
It was understood that the PSG board & Messi representatives will meet in February to discuss the contract.
Change in approach
In February it was reported that Messi was waiting for the outcome of the clash against Bayern Munich to sign a contract. After the elimination at the hands of Bavarians, Messi was singled out for criticism by the French media just as last year although La Pulga was one of the best players on the pitch.
Subsequently, Messi was jeered by factions of PSG fans which disappointed him a lot. He felt that he is the only one singled out for criticism & jeers. He wasn’t used to this at Barcelona. A lot of football pundits and analysts condemned the behavior of Paris fans.
The news of demanding the same salary as other players were baseless but Leo wanted to understand how PSG’s new project is gonna be before making a decision.
FC Barcelona makes a move
Since the start of 2023, the president of FC Barcelona has claimed on numerous occasions to undo his decision of letting go of Messi. He said that he is not going to be remembered in history as the one who let go of Messi. Here’s what he has to say:
“Messi is the best player of all time. He’s a Barça fand, his heart beats for Barça… so the links are normal”.
“Will Messi return? He’s a PSG player. We’d love to have Leo back here one day — but we will see”. He [Messi] has the doors of Barca open. He knows that. He’s part of our emblem.”
“Messi is a player of PSG and I have to be careful what I say. I have to respect his club and respect him. Messi knows that we have Messi in our hearts, Messi is part of our blood.
“I need to find a way to improve this relationship between Messi and FC Barcelona. We will see. Right now he is a PSG player.”
After a lot of speculation around his future, vice president Rafa Yuste of the Catalan club finally admitted that they are in talks with Messi’s camp for a move in the summer transfer window. While talking with the reporters he said:
“We’ve been in contact with Leo Messi’s camp. Leo knows how much we appreciate him and I’d love for him to come back. For sure Messi loves Barça and the city, so we hope to find the right conditions to continue his history here”.
Barcelona is waiting on FFP to send a bid and open talks for Messi’s fairytale comeback.
Also Read: Journey of Argentina to the WorldCup Glory
Former teammates call for Leo’s return
Xavi has already made it clear that he still talks with Messi and is waiting for him as Barça will always be his home. He said hopefully we will see him here. Xavi has already called Messi numerous times as they are also friends.
Some of Messi’s former teammates Ronald Araujo, Sergio Roberto, Gerard Pique, Iniesta, Thierry Henry & Sergio Aguero have made it pretty clear of their desire to see Messi’s fairytale comeback to Camp Nou.
Offers from other leagues
It is also understandable that Messi has different offers from MLS Inter Miami & as recently Al-Hilal made a whooping offer to him with a proposal of more than 400 million euros.
But Messi’s stance is clear. He wants to continue in Europe until at least the 2024 Copa America.
Messi’s fairytale comeback?
As things stand, it looks like Messi has the decision to make. He had four destinations in front of him but Barcelona has always been his home. His family has still not settled in Paris and they dream of going back to Barcelona. Besides, Camp Nou is his home. He has been the greatest player in Catalan’s club history with 34 titles, the most.