Is messi going back to barca ? Barcelona was Lionel Messi’s preferred option from all the offers he had on the table and Barcelona senior sources were desperate to get him back. But like every team that wanted to sign Messi — and any transfer Barcelona have wanted to do over the past two summers — it was not that simple.
“I had offers from another European team, but I didn’t even consider it because my idea in Europe was only to return to Barcelona,” Messi said in an interview with Sport and Mundo Deportivo. “After winning the World Cup and not being able to join Barcelona, it was time to go to MLS and live football from another perspective, enjoying more my daily life. Obviously, I’ll have the same responsibility on my job and desire to win everything and doing things right. But being more calm.”
Last week, Barcelona sources, who were granted anonymity as they did not have permission to discuss this transfer, indicated it would be very difficult to complete a deal for Messi. Barcelona could not, as it stood, offer Messi guarantees that he would be registered with the club.
This has been an ongoing issue for Barcelona. La Liga has rules around salary caps. If a team goes over their allotted amount — which is based on financial performance in recent seasons — they are unable to register a player and therefore unable to use them in the league. It does not matter if they are able to pay them or not.
This was the issue when Messi left Barcelona in 2021. He had agreed a new contract but because of the salary cap rule they were unable to register him — and therefore he had to leave. He ended up joining Paris Saint-Germain.
It did not end with Messi’s exit. Last summer, Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde. Lewandowski, Kessie, Christensen and Raphinha were only registered in the days before the season began after Barcelona activated a series of ‘economic levers’. Kounde was registered just before the window closed.
La Liga has recently approved Barcelona’s viability plan for next season but with some conditions. They are still above their salary limit. In order to keep reducing the limit, La Liga will only allow Barcelona to spend 40 per cent of any money they raise through sales and loans on new signings. For example, if they sell a player who reduces their salary bill by €100million, they would be able to register a player with a €40m salary.
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Lionel Messi and Barcelona have a relationship that is truly unique in the world of sport. The Argentine superstar spent a majority of his entire professional career at the Catalan club, and helped lift a lot of trophies.
Messi’s relationship with Barcelona began when he was just 10 years old. He joined the club’s youth academy, and he quickly rose through the ranks.
You say you’ve been following the games. I suppose you were as happy as any other Culé when they won the league?
Yes, of course. I followed them all year and I wanted Barça to win the league, like all Barcelona fans. And even the first year as well, I spoek to Xavi quite a lot after some games. I followed them closely.
And regarding the possibility of coming back, have you made any decision?
Yes, the truth is yes. I really wanted to come back, I was really looking forward to it. But, on the other hand, after having lived through what I lived through, after the exit I had… I didn’t want to go through the same situation again and have to wait to see what was going to happen. I didn’t want to leave my future in the hands of others. Somehow, I wanted to make my own decision for myself, for my family. Even though I heard that they said that the league had accepted everything and that everything was OK for me to come back… there were still a lot of other things missing. I heard that they had to sell players or lower the salaries of players and the truth is that I didn’t want to go through that, nor be responsible or have anything to do with all that.
During my career at Barcelona, I was accused of a lot of things that were not true and I was a bit tired of it. I didn’t want to go through all that again. And well, when I had to leave, they also said that Laliga had accepted everything, but in the end it couldn’t be done. I was afraid that the same thing would happen again and I would have to rush [a decision] like I did then: I had to come here to Paris, to stay in a hotel for a long time with my family, with my children going to school and still being in the hotel. I wanted to make my own decision. That’s why I didn’t come back from Barça.
Going against your heart.
I would have loved to come back. I’m also at a point where I want to get out of the spotlight a bit, to think more about my family. As I said, I just had two years in which things were not great for the family and I didn’t enjoy it. That month was spectacular for me when we won the World Cup, but apart from that, it has been a difficult time for me and I want to rediscover my enjoyment, to enjoy my family, my children, the moment…. That’s why Barcelona didn’t happen.
Of all these reasons, what is the one that has weighed most heavily in your decision?
Making my own decision and not being forced to wait again, with the risk that the same thing could happen as happened two years ago. As I said, I also wanted, after having achieved everything and the World Cup that I wanted so much, to look for something else and to have some peace of mind.
The truth is that my family was very, very excited about everything they heard, but at the same time we had no illusions because the reality was that we still didn’t know what could happen. But, obviously, I was very keen to give back. We never, ever wanted to go [to Paris]. It was very, very, very difficult, but the family supports me and it is a collective decision, not only mine. They are also happy but also sad to leave, because while it was hard for them at the beginning, now they are more adapted to Paris. They have their friends at school and it hurts them, too, to leave all that, but they are grown up now, especially Tiago who understands the situation. He is happy about what is to come.
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