It took me few days to make sure that it’s a reality and not a bad dream. But in the end, we all woke up yesterday and saw the emotional press conference of Leo. Messi leaves Barcelona in its worst moment, with a lot of question marks. However, as history would tell us, it’s possible to recover from that. What makes me sadder is the fact that Messi leaves Barcelona when both sides didn’t want to split ways. Moreover, him leaving doesn’t mean Barcelona have more funds to invest and bring players in.
I still remember writing about him in a Barça forum back.in the days he was part of the legendary 1987 generation of La Masia. With players like Cesc and Piqué next to him, it was easy to fall in love with this team. But there is a big difference between making it in La Masia, and making it in the first team. But Leo did a lot more than that. It was the perfect fairytale story.
21 years later, us Culers wake up from our dream, to a reality of no Messi around anymore. Playing with Leo Messi was like having “Cheat Code”, and it made life a lot easier for us. We always had that ‘Joker’ that could, in any minute, just take the ball and score. Well, it’s not going to happen anymore, and there’s no one in the world who could replace him. So it will take a great team to cover for his loss.
Messi leaves Barcelona on bad terms is really sad. Like other Barcelona legends, Messi leaves us crying and broken up inside.
Who’s to blame?
There are a lot of rumors regarding the negotiations, and we need to take some of them with a pinch of salt. First of all, we need to understand that there are a lot of different agendas in the media of Barcelona. Some of them hate Laporta, and they use this situation to blame him. But is it really his fault? Would any other president change this reality?
Laporta never promised that Messi will 100% stay. He promised to do anything possible to keep him. And eventually, everything looked like he would stay. Leo came to Barcelona with his father with a clear desire to sign the contract. But sometime last week the club realized that La Liga won’t allow them to register Leo.
ARA, a Catalan paper, did a research within members of the club, and they found out some interesting things:
- La Liga Approved the new contract of Leo Messi last Sunday, and in return Barcelona agreed to the CVC deal.
- The club sent invitations for the contract renewal ceremony that would take place on Friday.
- The CEO of the club, Ferran Reverter, read the contract and found some disturbing details: It will lock Barcelona for 40 years from participating in a new independent tournament (Clearly referring to ESL), and locks the TV rights and other aspects. At the end of the day it lock Barcelona from growing, and you can’t do that when you already have a debt of 1.4 Billion Euros.
- Eventually, Barça turned down the CVC deal, and in return La Liga refused to register Leo Messi. Eventually, the decision to part ways became a reality after Barcelona and Jorge Messi spoke on Thursday.
Were there any other solutions?
In the last few days I heard some ‘Suggestions’ that I would like to talk about.
‘Couldn’t Messi just reduce his salary more or even play for free?’ – Well, that’s not a real option. First of all, Leo did agree to reduce his salary by 50%, but even after that, Barcelona salaries take 110% of the club’s funds, while the salary cap is 70%. Moreover, even without him signing the contract Barcelona are at 95%, and right now can’t register the new signings. That means he couldn’t even play for free. And La Liga would never agree to this kind of contract, because people can’t just work for free.
‘Can’t the club just sell those who earn too much?’ – Here’s the main reason for the club’s bad condition. While Bartomeu was in charge, players signed for Barcelona and they earn salaries that they couldn’t dream about in other teams. Players like Coutinho, Griezmann, Umtiti, Pjanic, Sergi Roberto and the list goes on and on. They earn a lot more than other players in their positions. For example, Umtiti’s salary is like 2 Van Dijks. Pjanic more than doubled his salary when his hysteric 60m worth of swap deal took place. And the weird part is that their salaries grow every year. Other teams won’t pay even half of what they earn in Barcelona, so selling him is probably the toughest task of Laporta.
‘Can’t the club sell players that other team’s want’? Well, there are some players that the club might sell. But would you sell De Jong, Ter Stegen, Ansu Fati and Pedri in order to register Leo Messi? Would he agree to play with a team that will lose every long term asset? I don’t think so. Leo always wanted a competitive team, and all those players leaving would mean the team isn’t competitive anymore.
Legends Leave Sometime
I remember the ‘Dream Team’ of Cruyff, Stoichkov and Romario, as I started watching football back then. And then they left, and that was a shock to people older than me back then.
Then Ronaldo came and the team of Bobby Robson was the first year that I became a fan of this club. But then Ronaldo left, and Rivaldo arrived. Him, Pep and Figo were my heroes as a young kid, and brought many Culers joy.
But then Figo broke our heart and became a public enemy in Barcelona. One year later – Pep left the club as a player. Two years later – Van Gaal returned and threw Rivaldo away of the club.
A year after Rivaldo left, Laporta took charge and brought Ronaldinho. One year later – Deco and Eto’o. They gave us the second Champions League, and made us all smile. But then Ronaldinho and Deco left, and one year later – Eto’o.
But by then we already had Leo Messi. Neymar and Suarez came and left, and other club legends also left at some point.
Every legend leaves is a sad thing, and when it’s Messi with what it means to Barcelona – It sadder. But eventually, we will rise back and build a great team. We have to, because we’re FC Barcelona.