Is Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for free next summer?
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has been one of the GOATs of modern football and has also been Barcelona's guardian angel for 15 years. However, it could all come to a shocking end at end of the ongoing season, as Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed of the stunning clause, which could see him leave for free. Here's more on this.
It was reported in 2017 that Messi had then signed a fresh four-year deal with Barcelona, which would see him stay with the Catalonians until 2021. However, Barca president Bartomeu has confirmed that there is a shocking clause in his contract, which states that if Messi wants, he can leave the club for free, following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu stated that despite the clause, the club are not worried. "It's the same case as with the final contracts that Xavi, Puyol, and Iniesta had. They are players who deserve that liberty, and we shouldn't worry, as they are very committed to Barca. We want Messi to play for Barca through to 2021 and beyond. We are very calm," said Bartomeu.
The biggest setback came for Barca last month was when their goal-machine, Messi, suffered a calf injury, like Luis Suarez, during Argentina's international assignment. As a result, he was not risked for Barca's opener against Athletic Bilbao. Although he has reportedly continued training irregularly, his participation of late is doubtful and is not expected to return to action before the end of the month.
As Barca await the much-needed return of Messi, they have been off to a horrific start in the La Liga, having won just one of their three matches so far. Meanwhile, they have been drawn in the group of death in the UEFA Champions League, against Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, and the Czech Republic champions Slavia Praha. Certainly an uphill task without Messi.
Questions have often been raised about Messi's possibility of leaving Barca, which has turned out to be mere rumors so far. While this may come as the strongest indication, of Messi eventually quitting Barca, the author feels there is no reason for Messi to do so. However, there is no harm either for him to try new challenges and prove that he's the GOAT.