After 20 years
Why it is right for Messi to leave FC Barcelona
Even if football romantics don’t want to admit it: Lionel Messi’s chilled relationship with FC Barcelona can hardly be repaired and the team is in a crisis. Separation seems best for both sides.
It is shocking news for football romantics and fans of FC Barcelona: Lionel Messi has submitted his resignation. The Argentine wants to leave the club after 20 years and 34 titles won. It is the end of an era that was also the most successful period FC Barcelona has ever had. Thanks Messi.
For those who do not consider themselves to be part of the soccer romantic group, Messi’s wish to move is one of the most exciting news this soccer year. Even before the 33-year-old officially announced his intention to the club’s management (by registered mail!), There was wild speculation about the question of which new club this unearthly footballer might be drawn to. To Inter Milan, where he is said to have bought a luxury loft? To Paris Saint-Germain to be reunited with Neymar? To Manchester City, where Pep Guardiola is the coach, with whom he had the most successful time? Or, even wilder, to Juventus Turin, to form an old-man-giant duo with Ronaldo, the eternal rival?
Lots of reasons for the crash
But no matter where Messi’s path leads: For both the player and the Catalan club, a separation seems to be the best solution. It is perfectly normal for such an extraordinary relationship to wear out. In order to save them, a team has to reinvent itself – which is exactly what FC Barcelona did not manage in the years after the last Champions League title in 2015. The past season was the first in almost 20 years without a title. The low point of development was the 2-8 disaster against FC Bayern. At that moment, it was clear to everyone involved that the team was finished despite Messi.
The reasons for the development are diverse. The club’s management missed the chance to breathe new life into the partly outdated and saturated squad through clever personnel decisions (for players and coaches). Messi has often criticized that. In general, his relationship with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is considered disrupted after the dispute over a wage waiver in the Corona crisis.
Messi’s special position paralyzes developments
Conversely, Messi’s special position has also contributed to paralyzing developments. If the superstar is not ready to take part in innovations or to forego his special position in favor of the team, that quickly becomes a problem. Allegedly, the new coach Ronald Koeman has demanded exactly what the superstar will not have liked. Messi is also said to have been upset that his buddy Luis Suarez no longer plays a role under Koeman. Apparently that was enough for the Argentine. A joint restart is impossible under such conditions.
The only way out is separation. Wherever Messi’s path leads: Now Barcelona can start a fresh start without having to consider a demigod.