Lionel Messi must overcome the transfer saga to succeed at Barcelona.
Lionel Messi was the talk of the football world when he decided to leave his boyhood club in order to look for new challenges. The decision from the Argentine came after an 8-2 humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich in last season’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Barcelona had hit rock bottom that day and a picture of Messi looking devastated in the dressing room was leaked.
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After a few weeks, a new manager, Ronald Koeman, was appointed by the Barcelona board in order to replace Quique Setien. There was apparently a meeting held between the Argentine legend and the Dutch coach, and things turned sour very quickly. The 31-year-old submitted an official request for the cancelation of his contract but the club were stubborn and kept pointing at the fact that since the season was over, the clause that Messi could leave for free no longer stands.
After almost a month of speculation and several clubs being linked to the superstar, most notably, Manchester City, Messi decided to stay at the club for one more year and fulfill his contract. Many fans are delighted that their best player will be staying with them for at least one more year while many fans are quite disappointed at the way the board and the president of the club treated their most loyal player.
As for Koeman, he has been handed a lifeline as having the Argentine in any team means that team will flourish. The Dutch manager already has a lot of pressure upon his shoulders and the last thing he would need is for the club legend to leave. Koeman in an interview with BarcaTV+ said,
“He is the best, I have said it many times. Messi is a very important player and he has shown it for many years. I hope he can do it again this season.”
The club is already in a dismal state and the last thing that they need is their captain and leader unhappy and unmotivated. Koeman understands this as well and thus although the ex-Everton manager is trying to inject new blood into the starting lineup, he must also motivate the already established veteran players of the squad. This will certainly be an interesting season for the club and we must wait and see if Koeman can help lift Barcelona back on to the main stage with the other European Elites.
Will Messi lead Barca to another La Liga and Champions League title?