Lionel Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona this summer has sent massive shockwaves to the sporting world and every media headlines are now all about where the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner might end up.
Any football enthusiasts that have followed the beautiful game of football for a decade and a half is more acquainted with magical Messi. The memory of every football-loving fan on the planet has had an endless collection of seemingly unthinkable displays in which the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner was able to utilize his feet to perform mesmerizing things that normal people can’t imagine, not to mention execute.
Regardless of whether by any possibility a football fan have been living on another planet – might be a fan from where the Argentine began before showing up at planet Earth and thus unable to bear witness to the marvels Lionel Messi has orchestrated, such person can without much of a stretch ask around.
Running down the wing with the ball glued to his feet, mind-blowing movement at it’s best, great flair and unbelievable goals, breaking records and setting unbelievable feat are what Messi is capable of.
Anyone who has the pleasure or the opportunity of seeing ‘La Pulga‘ shone out mesmerizing performances on the pitch of play, or saw his wizardry display in flesh and blood when he made his debut and when he grew into a man, could have easily foreseen a player that would go down as one of the greatest in the footballing world with his brilliant talent.
With over 16 years, counting from the first day and year he made his debut, Messi has continued to grow in strength and achievement for the club and personally to himself – scoring an astonishing 634 goals and creating 285 assists in 731 appearances for the Spanish giants.
Although there are times when things aren’t going on well for him, that doesn’t stop him from dishing out his best performances on the pitch for the Catalan side.
Sometimes some marriages last till nature calls for it, even with the ups and downs in the union, while on the other hand, some don’t even grow past the first year or month of their union.
However in Messi’s case, since he made his competitive debut, it is safe to say his relationship with Barcelona has birthed a lot of success both on the homefront and in Europe. But then with the situation Barcelona is currently in now, seems as though the union is coming to an end despite having a relationship that has yielded mouthwatering success.
Today, we’ll take a look at 5 reasons why Messi would move to Manchester City
Without mincing words, the reports going around that ‘La Pulga’ wants to leave Barcelona has no doubt put some of the biggest clubs in Europe on the front-burner to sign the Argentine into their respective teams.
In all honesty, it’s must be said that no team in the world won’t love to have the Barcelona man in their ranks. Having said that only three clubs have been linked with the Argentine currently such as Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, and Inter Milan.
The Argentine is now 33, and to all prospectives clubs wanting him, they shouldn’t expect him to be as agile, strong, and mesmerizing just as he was when he was at peak for the Catalan side.
With his performances this season despite Barcelona losing the league to eternal rival Real Madrid, and also dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich. Lionel Messi was still able to win the ‘Pichichi’, which shows he still has an enormous amount of years to give wherever he ends up, should he leave the four walls of Barcelona.
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- Pep Guardiola’s Reunion
It’s no news that clubs have been rumored to be in pole position to secure the services of Messi, should he leave Barcelona.
Before the No 10 would join any team, he would consider some important things before making that decision, and one of those decisions or the first reason he may consider before signing for such a club is the manager in charge. .So in the case of City, they’ve got a man very familiar with Messi at the Etihad Stadium in Pep Guardiola.
According to ‘Thesefootballtimes‘ more than anything else, a football manager thinks about winning, it’s the source of their happiness, their confidence that ultimately keeps them in employment. No manager can quite match Pep Guardiola in this regard, there is nothing more important to the current City boss than winning a football match.
With the statement above, it’s easy to understand why Guardiola took over the managerial position at Barcelona. Pep instantly won the team over with his passion for football, love for the club, and intelligence, as well as his brilliant communication skills with the players which have been the key in his managerial career over the years.
Manchester City is one of the potential clubs who could sign Messi should he leave Barcelona, Messi would likely look at the prospect of him playing for Guardiola once again before he draws the curtain on his illustrious career, not because of anything, but due to how both dominated La Liga and also rule the world of football during his reign at Barcelona.
- Champions League & Well Tailored Project
Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain are no doubt one step ahead in terms of footballing potentials, financial muscles, and players structures ahead of other teams that may want to sign the Barcelona man.
And with the current situation, Barcelona is now, everything is pointing to the direction of Messi leaving.
The Etihad side is synonymous with Pep, under whom the Argentine enjoyed arguably the best moment in his football career. The English side is one of the few clubs in Europe, who has the financial muscles to sign him should he eventually leave the four walls of Barcelona.
The UEFA Champions League has eluded the Catalan side for a long time since they last won it, and with Barcelona’s management and Messi’s aspiration, it’s no news that they harbored the dream of winning the Champions League once again.
Their deep decline has been reflecting and evident on their poor performances in the Champions League recently.
Meanwhile, Guardiola’s City has also been knocking on the Champions League door for a while, but things haven’t fallen in place for them. Perhaps with the addition of Messi into the team, the door might eventually open.
- Catalonia Reunion
With over 16 years in Barcelona, playing for the Catalan side, it is safe to say Messi is of Catalonia than Argentine this doesn’t mean he’s not an Argentine.
With the Director of Football ‘Txiki Begiristain‘ and Chief Executive Officer ‘Ferran Soriano‘ at Manchester City, who are one of the important staff that makes sure things run smoothly at the Etihad, Messi should be rest assured that he is going to familiar terrain.
With City desperately trying to win the Champions League, trying to secure the service of the Argentine would be one sure thing Txiki Begiristain would love to achieve.
Keeping in mind that Messi could help them crack the Champions League code with the avalanche of great players in the team, and with the fact that he would be playing with one of his closest friends ‘Sergio Kun Aguero‘.
If reports are anything to go by, that Pep has spoken to Messi just days before the Barcelona captain sent a ‘Burofax’ to the club informing them that he wants to leave, then that alone it’s a great opportunity for the City’s officials to try and bring Barcelona’s finest player in the history of football to the Etihad Stadium.
However, with the current situation of Messi’s contract, signing him won’t be that easy and more so Begiristain & Soriano wouldn’t want to make a mess with the Barcelona board based on the Catalonia connections.
- Opportunity To Play With More Quality Players
Since Guardiola took over the managerial position at Etihad, he has been blessed with the money bags from Asia.
More so with the signing of Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo’s €65m move to City, which had taken Pep Guardiola’s spending as a manager to €1.307.9 billion in just 11 seasons on the benches of Europe’s elite sides, and more still to come with the way and manner they’ve been regrouping to win back the league from Liverpool come next season.
Pep, the whole of City players and the management would be delighted to have Messi. To make things click for them, the Etihad outfit may have €300m in other to trigger the signing of the Barcelona captain, should he leave and everything goes smoothly between the Barcelona’s camp and City’s camp.
Comparing player for player in Barcelona and City, there is a big disparity in the quality of the players. With no disrespect to Barcelona’s players, only a few of them could actually stroll into the current City team.
As such Messi would keenly look at all of that and perhaps, tend to move to Manchester City, having already accomplished almost everything a footballer would want.
- Opportunity To Play In The EPL
If Messi leaves for Manchester City, no doubt the English Premier League will have more followers and definitely Messi’s fans on their side. More so, the presence of the Barcelona captain in the league would be a great opportunity for the EPL organizer or whoever is in charge of making the league runs smoothly to leverage on his popularity, which would definitely make a lot of business sense for the league.
Over the years, the constant talks that the Barcelona captain should move out of his comfort zone, by supposedly Ronaldo’s fans who thought the Argentine may not succeed in other leagues.
With what Messi has achieved over the last 16 years in football, it is quite okay to say Messi has nothing to prove to anybody or fans, but then the joy of seeing him graced the Premier League would definitely gladden the heart of Messi’s fans and the neutrals.
His presence in the Premier League would also lay to rest, all of the talks that Messi should leave his comfort zone and move elsewhere.
With the financial status of Manchester City, they are no doubt one of Europe’s elite clubs that are capable of paying the player’s €50m annual salary. Only time will tell if he would join Manchester City or have a rethink to stay in Barcelona.
With the aforementioned reasons on why Messi would join Manchester City, and not Paris Saint Germain or Inter Milan, it doesn’t mean the other two clubs don’t have the financial muscles to trigger the clause of Messi’s contract.
If we’re to look at the manager’s quality in all of the three clubs, without mincing words Manchester City has arguably the best manager, with no disrespect to the other two managers.
So with the present situation of things at the Nou Camp, we can only wait to see how things would pan out in the end.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
5 Must Do Assignments For Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta officially becomes the Blaugrana’s President following a simple swear-in ceremony to take up the mantle of leadership with the Calatan based club, in his second coming after a first spell between the year 2003-2010 marked with great sporting success both off and on the field.
After the €124.6million financial guarantee was ratified by LaLiga, Laporta won the recent election after an excruciating months-long delay with 30,184 of the 55,611 votes cast were able to assume the reign following the handling of powers from the Managing Commission led by Carles Tusquets.
With Joan Laporta and Barcelona faced with the reality of huge financial challenges within the context of the pandemic, as he faces yet another six years term in office. It would be quite interesting to see how Laporta would drag the Blaugrana out of the financial challenges and somewhat institutional collapse they’ve found themselves.
Here are 5 most important assignments for Joan Laporta
The 2019-20 season ended in a disastrous and disappointing manner for the Blaugrana, with the 8-2 mauling in the hands of ‘Die Roten’ Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The crisis in the club started unraveling one after another, with all of the issues plaguing the club from within began to come to the fore under former president Josep Maria Bartomeu who was forced to resign.
While the crisis eating the club deeply seems to be degrading the institutional reputation the Blaugrana has built over the years, there were calls for change from the fans, key players of the club, and most importantly the biggest player in the club’s history Messi.
The former President Josep Maria Bartomeu left a huge task for the new President to surmount, among them is huge financial debt, gross mismanagement, a failed sports project of the club, and failure in protecting the club’s identity as a historical institution in transfer dealings.
Healing Mistrust Among Board Of Directors
For Laporta to hit the ground running and to create a sane environment for another successful regime as the Barcelona President, he needs to first heal the deep mistrust among the club’s board of directors. And to some extent the players, for them to trust in his leadership skill and work hand in hand as one great family as we saw in his first coming.
Koeman’s Continuity As Barcelona’s Manager
As a leader who’s got a crucial decision to make, such a leader has to tread with caution. In other words, Joan Laporta in his statement concerning Ronald Koeman’s future :
“We have to respect Koeman who has a contract. He’s a Barcelona great and deserves all our respect, although results and performances count. The current situation requires experience”.
Laporta needs to come to conclusion on whether the Dutchman would continue as the gaffer of the club once he sees out his contract or he would be replaced with another manager.
Although since the exit of former Real Betis manager Quique Setien, the Dutchman has been able to steady the ship from sinking further even though he couldn’t conjure enough magic to help the Catalan giants go past Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League, they’re still very much in the race for the LaLiga title.
Aside from been dumped out of the Champions League, Koeman has since done quite a remarkable job with the Barcelona team, despite taking up a somewhat fragmented squad.
Should Barcelona finish second or third in LaLiga and go on to win the Copa del Rey final which would be their record 31st cup title, then it could be said to some extent that Koeman has achieved success with a squad that looked derailed of hunger to win under Setien.
Messi’s Contract Renewal
It’s no longer news that Messi is on the brink of leaving Camp Nou once his contract run-out in June, having spent his entire football career with the Catalan giant. With Laporta on board, especially a President who is known for his on and off-field achievements, the Argentine might call off his decision and stay back at Barcelona should Laporta tick all the necessary boxes that would make the team captain stay.
Considering the financial challenges Joan Laporta has to sort out, and bearing in mind the astronomical amount of money involved in Messi’s contract, it would be quite difficult to offer the 6 time Ballon d’Or winner such a juicy contract especially when the club is financially handicapped.
However, it would be interesting to see what kind of deal Laporta would offer Messi, not forgetting that other notable teams in Europe are also lurking around to sign the Argentine should he opt to leave Barcelona for a new environment and a new challenge away from the four walls of Nou Camp.
On the other hand, if there is any person that could convince Messi to stay is no other than Laporta, based on the illustrious past and pre-existing relationship with the captain. The new president certainly has what it takes to convince Messi to achieve yet another success.
Solving The Club’s Financial Debt
In Barcelona’s 122-year-old history as an institution, they’ve never been faced with a financial crisis like the one they’re currently in. Under the leadership of former President, the Blaugrana entered into a staggering debt of €1.173billion with over 700million of the debt in the short term.
With Laporta appointed as the new President, he’s expected to solve the debt of the club and put an end to the global disgrace the former administration caused the club through financial mismanagement.
How Laporta would achieve this great challenge would be quite a task, but then his years of experience as a former president would be of great advantage.
Joan Laporta once said he believes that he could reverse the situation by increasing sponsorship revenues and raising over €200millon from commercial rights sales. He also mentioned that he has options like the Barcelona Digital Hub, improving the Barcelona Studios Platforms which could bring in more cash, with all of these in mind then Laporta needs to swing into action as soon as possible.
Recruitment Of Quality Players & Investing In La Masia
With the 2020-21 football season already coasting home, there is definitely a need for the Blaugrana President to fix the on-field sporting issue affecting the team. Laporta, without doubt, would be faced with tough decisions with regards to off-loading some certain players to cut cost, but then on the other hand it is necessary in order to raise funds for new players
With four to five players needed to beef up the strength of the team and to also help Barcelona bring back the Champions League title that has eluded them since 2015. The good news is the imminent arrival of Eric Garcia from Manchester City that could prove valuable for the team in solving their somewhat defensive woe.
Another area that also needs swift attention is the defensive face of the midfield, where the aging Sergio Busquets plays, although the lack of immediate funds to initiate all of these transfers is no doubt a massive issue for Laporta.
However, for the team to compete in LaLiga and Europe as the Barcelona of old, hence the President really needs to tick all boxes in making sure they recruit quality players.
Since the exit of Luis Suarez in an acrimonious manner, the Blaugrana haven’t really experienced a brilliant in and out striker who could deliver the goals. As such there’s a need for real replacement for the striking position of the team, in order to take off the burden of relying on Messi to bail them out in difficult moments.
One name that certainly comes to mind in fixing that striking position is Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Braut Haaland, but then Barca should be battle-ready for financial power from top elite clubs in Europe such as Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
However, with Laporta’s cordial relationship with the Norwegian agent, then Barcelona surely has a chance of bringing him to the Nou Camp to spearhead the second era of Laporta.
Signing ready-made stars shouldn’t be the main focus of the new administrator under Laporta’s watch, it’s also very important that he invest in the club’s talents producing academy “La Masia”.
Over the years La Masia is known as the famous conveyor belt that served up generations of supremely talented youngsters who have carved out and turn world-class with impressive careers in the game.
La Masia’s graduates are steeped in the culture of the club and the idea is to develop a sort of familial bond from the lowest age group right up to the senior team. But in recent times the academy seems not to be interested in producing talents anymore except for a few. More attention needs to be paid to the academy that has the capability of producing quality players for the club.
Should Laporta be able to tick all of these boxes in his second coming, then Barcelona are in for a brilliant time under his leadership once again.