I may not know much about football, but I do know that Lionel Messi is the most famous and talented player in the world.
So it came as a shock to me when Lionel Messi announced his departure from FC Barcelona, where he had spent over two decades and is the club’s most decorated player. He has played 778 games for the Catalan club, scoring 672 goals.
So, what is the reason behind Messi’s departure from Barcelona?
Messi stated that he wanted to stay at the club and had even agreed to a 50% wage cut in order to sign a new deal. Barcelona, on the other hand, couldn’t even afford Messi at a discount.
Although the club wanted to extend the 34-year-old’s contract by two years, LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules prevented it. Barcelona’s wage-to-turnover ratio must be 70% according to the rules.
Why is Messi so expensive for Barcelona?
Even if he had played for free, Barcelona would not have been able to re-sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. With Messi on board, the club’s wage-to-turnover ratio was 110 per cent, according to Laporta. Without him, the percentage would have been 95%, considerably above the FFP cut-off.
The club’s debt has surpassed GBP 1 billion, according to the latest financial report, which includes money due for Philippe Coutinho and Frenkie de Jong. Their first-team squad has a pay cost of about GBP 235 million each year.
Goodbye from Barcelona for sure?
An emotional farewell implies this. Messi has been the most paid player in the Spanish league in terms of commercial agreements and television rights, and some commentators believe this is a pressure strategy by Barcelona to get LaLiga to relax its FFP regulations.
On the heels of Barcelona confirming Messi’s departure, Real Madrid issued a statement criticising LaLiga.
What’s next for Messi?
Messi hasn’t said anything about his next move but he has allegedly been in talks with PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) coach Mauricio Pochettino, and the club is preparing for a Messi reveal at the Eiffel Tower.
PSG is one of the few clubs in the world that can afford the 34-year-old. Messi’s presence may also open up significant economic opportunities ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as he is owned by Qatari businessmen.
Whatever the Ace Player’s choice is, we aren’t done with him yet. We’d like to see him score even more spectacular goals and put on even better displays.