When it was found out that Barcelona had over a billion euros in debt, it was pretty clear that Josep Maria Bartomeu would leave the club. The former president ran the club into the ground with his poor management skills and although he did try to fix a lot of problems by buying a lot of star players, most often these players did not fit into the system and they ended up costing the club a lot. Thus when Joan Laporta was elected as the new president, he had his work cut out for him but his main goal was to keep Lionel Messi at the club.
The Barca legend and arguably the greatest player to ever touch the ball, is a Culer through and through. Sure, he had a huge row with the former president; however, after the election of Laporta, he was ready to stay at the club. The main problem was his huge wages and La Liga’s new salary cap. For Messi to stay at the club, not only would the Argentine have to greatly lower his wages, but Barca would have to sell a lot of their players as well. At first, it seemed doable however, out of the blue the president informed him that it could not be done. In a recent interview with BarcaTV+ Laporta was asked whether he regretted letting Messi go but he said no.
Barcelona chief Joan Laporta on the departure of Lionel Messi
"“I had to make a big decision about Messi, but I do not regret it. No one is above the club. With Messi the reality hit us. There’s nothing else to it.“But Barcelona’s history continues, and with hard work and correct decisions we can return to the path of success. That’s what we’re doing.”Source Goal"
Messi himself was shocked by the decision since he thought that the club and the league could negotiate a deal which would allow him to stay at the club. The move to Paris Saint-Germain has obviously been tough for him since he is yet to find his footing at Parc des Princes; however, he will adapt soon and will be scoring regularly in no time.
About a possible return to Barca, Messi has always said that the Blaugrana is his home and thus we can see him return one day, maybe not as a player or a coach but as a director.