After high indications of his departure from Paris Saint-Germain, the veteran Argentine star, Lionel Messi, has a set of options that could allow him to end his football career. Where will the flea move to?
After high indications of his departure from Paris Saint-Germain, the veteran Argentine star, Lionel Messi, has a set of options that could allow him to end his football career. Where will the flea go?
Heart’s Choice: Barcelona
With the approaching end of his contract with Saint-Germain, which suspended him for several days for traveling to Saudi Arabia without obtaining approval, Spanish newspapers continue to talk about Messi’s return to his former team, Barcelona.
Messi dreams of returning to Catalonia at the age of thirty-six, and the Camp Nou crowd still clings to this hope: On several occasions over the past weeks, the club’s fans have chanted the name of the icon Messi.
But the process is complicated for Barcelona, because of financial concerns. According to the “Mundo Deportivo” daily, the club is still waiting for the Spanish League to approve the “feasibility plan”, which includes the extension of players Gavi, Uruguayan Ronald Araujo, Marcos Alonso and Sergi Roberto, in addition to the return of Messi.
But in order to be able to register players without exceeding the salary cap, Barcelona must reduce its spending by 200 million euros.
One of Barcelona’s first decisions towards achieving this goal was to shut down its television channel, Barca TV, on June 30. According to the club, the channel loses 13 million euros annually, but according to the employees, many of whom will find themselves unemployed, the losses do not exceed six million euros.
Is this enough? The controversial president of the League, Javier Tebas, expressed his doubts about the Argentine’s return when he told RMC Sports: “Until today, Messi’s return seems complicated to me. Barcelona is not like Paris Saint-Germain, who has a gas tap and money to provide high salaries.”
Wallet option: Saudi Arabia
The reunion between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and the marketing of a potential candidacy file to host the World Cup in the coming years seems like a crazy challenge, but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is able to achieve it in light of its extraordinary financial capabilities.
Messi was originally linked to a contract with the Saudi Tourism Authority to market it through social media, and this was the subject of Messi and his family’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which led to his suspension from the Qatari-owned club. There are doubts about Messi’s possibility to join the Saudi League, and to re-form a duel with Ronaldo after the one that captured the breath of viewers in Spain when the “Don” was carrying the colors of Real Madrid.
Several recent reports indicated that Al-Hilal club made an attractive offer for the best player in the world seven times, which may amount to 400 million euros annually to bring the world champion crowned last December in Qatar.
Last February, an official familiar with the file confirmed to AFP, who preferred not to be named, that Saudi Arabia is seeking to establish partnerships with Messi to support its organization of the World Cup. It was reported a few months ago that Saudi Arabia wanted to submit a joint file with Greece and Egypt to host the 2030 edition, but the candidacy has not yet become official.
After Ronaldo’s lavish contract with Al-Nassr, doubts are no longer great about making a similar or better offer for Messi and breaking more records. But will Messi isolate himself in a second-level tournament a year before the 2024 Copa America, which may be his last on the international scene?
Future option: Miami
This hypothesis is becoming less frequent in transfer rumours, but it does exist: a new challenge for Messi at Inter Miami, in Florida in the North American Championship that has always included South American stars at the end of their careers, such as Brazilian Kaka, Argentine Goncalo Higuain or currently Brazilian Douglas Costa.
This option helps bring the family closer to Miami, where Messi has a solid base. Former English Saint-Germain player David Beckham is one of the club’s franchise owners, and the former Manchester United star recently appeared in the “Can de Loge” center for Saint-Germain exercises, taking pictures with the Argentine.
“I do not deny that there is some truth in the rumors about interest in Lionel Messi. It will be a tremendous addition to the North American League,” said Inter Miami coach Phil Neville at the end of February.