Sam's Soccer Safe Space For Stoolies
I normally stick to previews and guides to picking a team but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures when the greatest to ever do it hands in a transfer request.
So here is the skinny: after spending his entire professional career with Barcelona starting in 2004 when he made his first team breakthrough, and with 33 trophies – thirty MF three!?!?!!!! – in the bag, Messi told Barcelona today that he wants out.
Does that mean he is leaving? No, not necessarily.
Messi has a special clause in his contract reserved for people with gargantuan swinging dicks that says he can opt and leave at the end of any season. However, Barcelona is going to argue that he needed to have triggered that clause in June in order to leave this summer. That may mean a legal dispute that would be ugggggggggggggly and I’m no lawyer so I have no special insight on how that will go.
What I do know is this: IF the 33-year-old mini-man-deity does leave it is one of those once-in-a-generation opportunities for some club (or league) to completely change their image. Unfortunately there are only a handful of clubs that could legitimately afford Messi. According to Football Leaks, his total wage package (including image rights and all the bells and whistles) is around $100 million PER YEAR. Yikes. So that whittles down the list of possible destinations by about 99.9999999%.
Here is what the bookies say about his potential landing spots:
City is the obvious choice. Fresh off a hugely disappointing season it would make a ton of sense for them to splurge like no sovereign-wealth-fund-cum-soccer-club has ever splurged before. You could make a similar argument for PSG. Italian clubs are not afraid to splash cash. Inter is especially motivated now that they have been second fiddle for like two decades. Juventus… Messi PLUS Ronny together??? I legitimately cannot imagine that happening. My mind started to melt just trying to contemplate the possibility of that so I’m going to assume it is a non-starter for my own sanity.
Also non-starters: Liverpool and United. Yep, nope. They are impossibilities. Zero chance the Reds are paying that kind of money for anyone when their teams is as stacked and balanced as it already is, and even less of a chance that Ed Woodward figures out how to make this happen.
Newell’s Old Boys is cute inclusion to the list since that is his childhood club and he has talked about ending up back there… but now? No chance they can afford anything close to what Messi will want, and if the tax shenanigans have taught us anything it is the Messi clan does not like leaving money on the table.
Last but not least: MLS. The haters are saying no way. My head is saying no way. Everybody and their mother is saying no way. But godamit, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Owners need to get together, all chip in on a slush fund and make it happen. Seriously, what is a couple hundred milly among billionaires??? That's chump change, fellas/ladies! It doesn’t even matter which team he plays for. In fact, don’t even assign him to one team since you might as well just hand them the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup right along with him. Instead just pass Messi around and let him play a game or two for every team in the league. The world’s greatest, most expensive “All-time offense” player in history.
Does it make sense financially? Probably not. Does it make sense logistically? Definitely not.
I don’t care. Just do it. Bring Messi to MLS. Suck it haters. The league already shocked the world once. Time for round two.
That’s all I got for now. My mind is still a little in shock that this might actually happen. My gut says Messi is just angling for a bigger payday from Barcelona but I’ll be damned if the drama and intrigue in the meantime isn’t absolutely delicious.
Stay safe out there kids!