Lionel Messi’s two-week ban from Paris Saint-Germain after an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia has drawn a line in the sand between the 35-year-old Messi and his club. rice field. It seems very difficult for Argentinians to stay in Paris after this summer.
After months of negotiations, his contract is expected to expire at the end of June. After two years he spent in the French capital, it presents a passive conclusion.
Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG for 2021, with an option for a third. With uncertainty over whether he will renew his contract, his camp has hinted at waiting for more information on what PSG’s sporting project will look like next season.
Sports projects seem to have no place for Messi, and the events of this week have brought that conclusion abruptly.
If not in Paris, where will Messi play football next season? Will it be financially viable to return to Barcelona, the club he played until 2021? Does his role as ambassador suggest that Messi will follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in club football in the Middle East? What about long-term moves to Inter Miami and Major League Soccer?
Click here for play status athletic At the moment, experts from Spain, France and the United States…
This is certainly Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s dream, and all indications are that it’s Messi’s personal choice. There are many things.
In fact, given Barcelona’s financial woes, even speculating about a possible Lionel Messi return feels reckless. After all, the club has yet to register new contracts for Gabi, Ronaldo Araujo, Alejandro Balde, Marcos Alonso and Sergi Roberto under La Liga salary rules.
But while Messi’s acquisition looks like an impossible jigsaw at the Camp Nou right now, nothing can stop many at Barcelona from believing that a deal will eventually come to pass.
La Liga are expected to ask Barcelona to cut salaries by around €200m (£176m, $221m) for the 2023-24 season. The Catalan is now above the salary cap set by the Spanish league. Like other clubs in a similar situation, Barcelona had to submit a financial viability plan to lay out the steps they would take to break even for his next two seasons. .
Two weeks ago, Barcelona did just that. They also told La Liga how to operate in the summer transfer market. There are no clear details about what the plan will entail, but multiple Barcelona sources, who have been granted anonymity to protect their jobs, say La Liga president Javier Tebas has attempted to force Messi to resign. And Barcelona won’t want to wait until the last day of the summer window to find out if they have signed their man.
But how the club can cut its annual salary by €200 million while signing a contract with one of the highest earning clubs in world football is another matter.
The coaching staff, led by manager Xavi, pushes to host Messi’s ‘Last Dance’ at the club. They feel the Argentinian star offers exactly what his team lacks, especially as his 20-year-old Pedri seems to take too much responsibility for the team’s success. Making the difference in his final third.
Opinions are divided in the dressing room. A significant part of the current squad enjoys the chance to team up with Messi again, but there are also sectors that are more reluctant about the possibility of a reunion.
When asked for comment, Messi’s campaign admitted a few weeks ago that a return to Barcelona is currently unrealistic and can only be considered from a romantic point of view.
Again, this is Barcelona. anything could happen.
Pol Valls and Laia Servello Herrero
Moving to Saudi Arabia?
It’s a scary number. Messi could cost as much as €400 million (about $443 million) a year to complete his career in Saudi Arabia.
But when there was still the possibility of another year at PSG, playing in the Saudi Pro League, which is ranked the 58th best quality league in the world according to sports intelligence agency Twenty First Group , was not the most attractive option for Messi. He wanted to stay in Europe and maintain his top-level performances ahead of the next Copa America in 2024.
Although it may have changed now.
The lack of projects to choose from in Europe is the main reason why we are unlikely to see Messi again in the Champions League next season. Barcelona is the only one there, and we’ve already talked about how uncertain that option is.
The sponsorship deal Saudi Arabia has signed with Messi to boost international tourism, of course, does not automatically mean that he wants to play his club football there. The Saudi League has identified players such as Neymar Jr, Pepe and Luka Modric as potential successors to Ronaldo.
Will you be at Inter Miami?
With Messi’s days at PSG appearing to be coming to an end, David Beckham’s Inter Miami have at least one less contender in their long-running pursuit of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
In MLS circles, it has long been considered something of an open secret that Messi would one day join Miami.
Miami has been wanting that result for a long time, and meetings have continued all winter long. Brothers Jorge and Jose Mas, who co-own Inter Miami with Beckham, led the negotiations and held numerous meetings with Messi’s father Jorge.
Messi has a home in Miami and regularly vacations in South Florida. Miami also has Messi’s roster space for him (or “designated player spot” in MLS parlance), and could even have more space to add players like Sergio his Busquets. increase.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. athletic It will likely take creative deals to make that happen in March, but the league and Inter Miami intend to be flexible in finding the right compensation package to acquire Messi.
In many ways the ball is in Messi’s court.
Stay at PSG?
Messi’s stay in Paris is coming to an end.
The idea of him leaving the Qatari-owned PSG club after winning the World Cup with Argentina in Doha in December felt far-fetched. An agreement to extend his stay in Paris seemed like a foregone conclusion. In France, PSG remained unbeaten in the league and Messi was at the center of things after a slow first season at his new club.
But since then my mood has changed a lot. PSG’s performances have plummeted, with him losing nine times in the calendar year alone, with Bayern in the round of 16 of his league Champions League, where he lost to Munich.
Although Messi was not personally to blame, it was a sign that the team was poorly formed and the club was not prepared to fight on all fronts. Post-World Cup fatigue didn’t help.
For the player, this period of his career has been a bruise, culminating in the club’s sanctions. The sentiment of his fans was directed at him, with his name being whistled at the Parc des Princes before the game. Sentiment among Paris supporters centers on suggestions that he is not as invested as he was during his time in Barcelona. A point only reinforced by the team’s solid form since the turn of the year.
Now that he’s been a role model in Paris, it seems unlikely that the relationship can be rebuilt.
PSG want to focus on building around Kylian Mbappe and capitalize on the large talent pool that exists within the French game. wages) and also a willingness to separate from Messi.
(Photo above: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)