What if Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona For Another Club?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JULY 29: Lionel Messi
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JULY 29: Lionel Messi /

This is a new series called “What If?”. It will try to imagine scenarios that could possibly be in play in the future of Barcelona.

As I was sitting idly at home, I pondered upon an idea for a new series of articles that I could write. After a bit of deep thought and consideration, a new idea was born. It has been rather unimaginatively titled ‘What if?’. Through this series, I am attempting to imagine a few scenarios and am trying to guess what the impact of those events could be.

While what I write may never happen, it is worthwhile imagining what could be. The longevity of this series hinges on how it is received by all of you. If it is well liked It could go on for a while. Otherwise, I could slash it after I’ve penned down a few articles. We begin the series asking what if Lionel Messi left Barcelona?


The scenario that I’m taking up this time is, albeit, rather far-fetched. The scenario being; What if Messi left Barca? As I said, it is far-fetched.

For most of us, Messi is synonymous with Barca and vice-versa. The little man has been at the club for 17 years and has developed, both as a player and a person, in Catalonia. In his time at the club, Messi has won 29 trophies, that is one trophy less than his actual age. To say that he has been successful would be a real understatement. This is why, this scenario seems so very far-fetched to most.


The one question that creeps up into my mind is, if Messi does leave, what would be the reason? There are few possibilities. One reason could be that he is lured into more lucrative deal than the one Barca is offering by another club. A second reason could be that he feels that it is time for a new challenge.

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The first scenario is the more likely of the two. Why? Well whenever speculation over Messi’s departure has emerged, it has always been attributed to disagreements over wages and contracts. As Messi nears the twilight of his career, Barca will look to ease off, very cautiously, the amount they pay him. This is only natural. However, Messi will surely feel that he deserves more and will look to move. Innumerable clubs will be after his signature and he will little trouble finding greener pastures.

The second scenario, in my opinion, is a little less likely. Messi has been the best player at the club for years now. His only challenge at the club is, probably, constantly trying to reinvent himself and the way he plays. After tasting so much success, Messi would hardly want to plunge into the world of uncertainty that awaits him, if he departs. Also, the quality of his teammates and his familiarity with them will differ greatly, if he leaves.


The impacts of Messi’s departure would also be innumerable. There are just far too many impacts that a move of this caliber would have.

Firstly, there will be the emotional or sentimental impacts which will be enormous. Messi defines the club identity. In many ways he has created the club identity for the past few years. Messi is a status-symbol and will remain for eternity. There are a great many supporters who support Barca only due to Messi’s presence and vice-versa. These fans would be left devastated if he left. Then, the emotions of his teammates would come into the limelight. Certain set of players have been playing with the Argentine for ages now and have developed a symbiotic relation, of sorts, with him. His departure would hurt them immensely, maybe even more than it’d hurt the fans.

Secondly and more obviously, there would be the on-field impact. Messi’s departure will leave a gaping hole in the Barca team. He has netted 518 goals for the club along with numerous assists. The club-management would find it impossible to replace him. I mean it, impossible. It is almost as if Barca, as a whole, feeds off Messi. When he doesn’t perform, his teammates also fail to bring their A-game. A prime example of this would be the 4-0 loss to PSG. In that game, Messi played poorly and hence the team performance suffered. If Messi leaves the club, Barca may have to endure an even darker period than it is enduring now.

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Messi, of all players, may actually struggle to find too many suitors for his signature. Simply because, he is just too expensive an investment. However, this doesn’t mean that no club will bid for him. Only clubs with large spending-power will. Clubs like PSG, Manchester City, etc. will be on the prowl the moment Messi is available. While PSG is embroiled in a high-profile transfer-battle over Neymar, they would love to snap up his more proficient teammate.