Wow. Before we even dive into the specifics of it all... just wow. I - along with the fair majority of non-Barca fans - wanted to watch Messi leave Barcelona more than I wanted anything in my life (beside Chelsea announcing Kai Havertz). Not even because it would be a challenge for him - he'd probably score bushels of goals no matter where he went - but because I wanted to see those Catalan fucks suffer. Even if it meant he came to the Premier League, joining Man City or the likes.
"Jeez Ethan, what's your deal. Why do you hate Barcelona?"
Champions League Semi-Final 2009. One of the most disgraceful matches to ever take place. Ever since then, I can't stand Barcelona. Also, it always felt like a player going to a Barcelona or a Real Madrid was sort of a cop-out to me. The best players in the world go there to seemingly beat up on the likes of La Liga - week in, week out - with the occasional competitive game.
Sure, they compete at the highest level in European competition but they play maybe two good teams domestically. So while Messi is surefire one of the best of all time, the world would've liked to see him try and bag thirty goals in a different league.
Messi has accepted he must stay at Camp Nou to avoid dragging his beloved club to court, but not until after a desperately sad couple of weeks.
This whole time, it's felt like Messi has been a class act. He was pretty respectful in the way that he asked to leave. If anything, Barcelona were the ones being dickheads about the whole thing.
It almost makes you wonder if Lionel Messi stands for anything. Almost any other player would drag their feet and hold out on the season. Not Messi. I guess you could chalk that up to loyalty or whatever but he's gotta stand up for what he wants. He's the best fucking football of a generation, potentially of all time yet he's getting dicked around by some sleaze bag club president.
“At least compete for it and let us not fall apart in Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon. All that led me to think about that decision that I wanted to carry out.”
Mate. As if going to PSG or Man City would be any better? Those two clubs almost exclusively blow it in the Champions League. At least staying with Barcelona guarantees you'll make at least a little noise in the UCL. This quote also just makes it seems like Messi is running away from his problems rather than facing them. A cowardly way out if you ask me. A serial winner starts losing and all of a sudden he wants out? Hate to see that.
However, that ambition to accept a new challenge was thwarted by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom Messi claims reneged on a promise he could leave
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not,” he said.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m/$823m) clause, and that this is impossible.”
It's just a shame the whole thing boiled down to a semantical battle that could only be solved in court. The Barca President definitely knew that there was no way Messi would take them to court over this so he just started arguing the semantics of when the clause kicked in. It was set for the end of the season (June 10th) but obviously with COVID and everything the end of the season was pushed back. That's the hang-up in the whole thing. Had there been no global pandemic, Messi would already be doing photoshoots at the Etihad.
Instead, he'll be forced to play out the upcoming season at the Nou Camp. I hope, with all of my heart, that he just goes through the paces this year. Doesn't even try. However, seeing as to how dedicated he is to the club, he'll probably just end up winning La Liga and sign another MASSIVE contract at Barca.