Friday, August 5, marks a sad anniversary for Barcelona fans. Exactly one year ago, MARCA revealed that Lionel Messi, against all odds, would leave the Camp Nou due to the club’s financial difficulties.
A year later, fans of the Catalan club still rue his departure, but do not rule out a possible return to give the club legend a more fitting farewell.
On August 5, 2021, MARCA exclusively reported that Messi would not continue with his boyhood club despite reports that he was set to renew.
Following weeks of discussions between the two parties the club eventually informed their greatest-ever player that they could not renew his contract.
Messi admitted three days later at a farewell press conference that he was shocked.
“It is the most difficult moment of my sporting career,” Messi stated.
“When they told me, I was frozen. It was a cold shower. I’ve had hard and difficult moments, but this…
“I feel very sad, I didn’t expect it. I feel sadness. I’m still coming to terms with it.
“I don’t know about Barcelona, but I did everything I could to continue. I lowered my salary by half. I wanted to stay.
“Last year I had my mind made up, but not this year. And nobody asked me for anything else. It couldn’t be done. It was all arranged, but because of an issue with LaLiga it wasn’t done. The club has a very big debt and doesn’t want to go further into debt.”
Barcelona could not, for strictly economic reasons, keep the forward.
LaLiga would not allow it, the numbers didn’t add up. Barcelona had to say goodbye to their star player, who spent his entire professional career and won 35 titles with the club. Their worst nightmare came true.
Today, much has changed for both Barcelona and for Messi, who is now with Paris Saint-Germain. It doesn’t look easy, but there is a chance that their paths will cross again.
Messi‘s relationship with Joan Laporta and his board is not very good, but the fans are excited by the president’s comments in the last week.
“It is an aspiration that I have as president and I would like it to happen,” Laporta said of Messi‘s possible return.
“I have been partly responsible for that end, but I consider it provisional.
“Messi‘s time at Barcelona did not end as we all wanted it to, it ended up being conditioned by economic factors and we have a moral debt to him. In that sense we would like the end of his career to be with Barcelona.”
Messi has a contract with PSG until June 2023, with an option for a further season. He made 33 appearances for the French side last season, scoring 11 goals.