No Messi Divorce At The Camp Nou

11 September 2020 | Clubs & Rightsholders
No Messi Divorce At The Camp Nou
And then there was calm. With the news that Lionel Messi has announced his intention to stay with Barcelona for the 2020/21 season, the footballing world is denied the opportunity to witness the biggest transfer of all-time. Disappointing for those who love a good transfer saga, although a relief for the Barcelona board and new manager Ronald Koeman, as they no longer need to plan for life without the talismanic Argentinian.

While although the noises from the Lionel Messi camp seem cordial at present, there is an underlying sense of an uneasy truce and although the situation will remain unchanged for now, the same cannot be said at the end of this upcoming LaLiga season.

At present there is a sense that none of the two parties can be concluded as the victors in this squabble and with neither a move being facilitated or the eye-watering transfer fee being collected, this situation is still simmering on the backburner.

The sticking point was undoubtedly the €700m transfer clause that Barcelona were adamant would have to be activated and without a bid of this gargantuan size, they were unwilling to entertain any talk of a departure.

However, Messi and his father Jorge, viewed matters from a different viewpoint and with their belief that the announcement of a free transfer was valid enough grounds to leave the Camp Nou, this is where the friction was created.

Friction that could have come from an almighty legal tussle and one that either would really want to be intrenched in, as not only would it be a different kind of messy but it would also derail Barcelona’s on-pitch efforts this season.

Something that Ronald Koeman would have been certainly keen to avoid and with the rebuilding job within Catalonia already looking difficult enough, the last thing he or his players need is the fallout from a legal wrangle.

Now the focus will be on whether Messi and Koeman will be able to intertwine in this current climate and with the former being such a consummate professional, it is this level of maturity that has diffused such a difficult situation.

Because although the star may have got his way, the subsequent courtroom detriment to the club as a whole would have been huge and although the desire to leave has not been dissipated completely, it has at least been quelled for now.

With that in mind, there is a rather pertinent question and one that asks, what is the end game for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner? Is it to serve notice by next June and finally move on from Barcelona or is it to make a power play in the boardroom?

If the player can wield enough power when it comes to the presidency of Barcelona, it may give him enough reason to commit his future further and negate any desire for similar transfer talk in less than a year.

Ultimately the 2014 FIFA World Cup runner-up will first have to rebuild the relationship with the fans, who have shown displeasure to the situation that has unfolded and although they may currently play the role of jilted lover, it should be easy to win back their support.

Because as soon as Messi opens his account for the new LaLiga season, any talk of his potential departure will have been forgotten and from that point onward, their fervent fandom will be replenished.

At the same time, the desire to leave has been mooted and more importantly, made public and once this happens there is always a sense of a slow and painful divorce. Which means, although Messi may be in Barcelona colours for now, he may not be a one-club man for the duration of his career.


Written by Dan Tracey

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