The What, The When And The Why Of Lionel Messi’s Transfer Request

Perhaps the biggest transfer in history and certainly every Barcelona fan’s worst nightmare is about to become a reality. Several reports claim that Messi has told the FC Barcelona board that he will be moving on from the club where he has spent the last 19 years of his life. Lionel Andres Messi has established himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time, if not the greatest, setting records other players could only dream of. Lionel shattered pre-existing concepts of football scoring inhuman goals, making dribbles that make you wonder his mortality and making FC Barcelona one of the greatest teams to ever grace the eyes of a football fan.

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It is a known fact that Messi had a difficult childhood due to a growth hormone deficiency. This led to several clubs like River Plate refusing to sign him and his boyhood club Newell Old Boys being forced to let him go as they were unable to pay for his treatment but then came Messi’s knights in shining armor in the form of FC Barcelona scouts in Rosario. They were so eager to sign him that his first ever Barcelona contract was signed on a paper napkin. The club paid for the entirety of the hormone therapy required by him to reach his full potential. This is one of the biggest reasons for his immense loyalty and love towards the club, but everything has a limit and Messi has reached his.

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Since Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint Germain things on and off the pitch have not looked very well for the Catalan Giants, suffering three major embarrassments in the UEFA Champions League by the hands of Roma, Liverpool FC and most recently by the hands of Bayern Munich which was apparently the final nail in the coffin. If reports are to be believed, Messi was fairly disappointed with the signing of Griezmann as he believed the huge sum of money spent on him could have been used to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou, a request he had expressed to the board on multiple occasions.

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In the last year particularly, Messi has been fairly vocal in the media something which is very rare for ‘La Pulga’ who is apparently so shy that in school he used to ask his friends to ask doubts from the teacher on his behalf. This includes the very fiery tiff between him and the now ex-sporting director of FC Barcelona, Eric Abidal who captained the team which included Messi in the infamous 2011 UCL final victory at Wembley. Then there was the I3 Ventures scandal where several defamatory tweets about Barca Legends, former Barca Presidents and potential future presidential candidates were uploaded from accounts which were traced back to I3 Ventures. Among these tweets some even said inappropriate things about Messi’s wife and his love since childhood, Antonella Roccuzzo. Although Barca didn’t admit that they knew anything about these tweets, they did admit to being in business with I3 ventures for a deal worth 1 million Euros.

Apart from that, Messi has expressed that he wants a “Winning Project” something Barca has lacked for several years since the departure of Neymar and arrival of Ernesto Valverde. He has been in disagreement with the club President Josep Maria Bartemou about the direction of the club for some time. Even when Luis Enrique was the coach at FC Barcelona there were disagreements between the two but they were handled. This time this does not seem to be the case due to awful planning and running of the club by Bartomeu. After a flurry of overpriced, unplanned and unsuccessful deals since 2017, Bartomeu has led the club into a financial and sporting ditch, clawing out of which is a monumental task and one which understandably Messi doesn’t want to spend his last few good years of his career doing, after spending his entire prime without a Champions League win. After Koeman’s appointment as the new Barca coach, Messi had cut his vacation short to meet with him and discuss his plans. This meeting was made very public by the club which he apparently absolutely did not want.

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Messi does have a clause in contract that allowed him to leave for free at the end of every season which he is trying to invoke, however that clause expired in June which means somebody will need to dig very deep into their coffers to buy Messi. Currently Barca is holding a meeting to discuss the future course of action regarding the 6 time Ballon D’or winner. Their current stance is that if somebody wants to buy him then they need to pay his 700 million euro release clause. Release clause aside, if the Blaugrana do decide to let go of the Argentine international it will be an extremely expensive affair not only in terms of transfer fees but also Messi’s ginormous wages.The frontrunners are clearly Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it is no secret the admiration the 2 have for each other and both of them had their best runs in their career with each other. Manchester City do have the money to make this transfer a reality but will they do it is still a matter to be seen in the future, also Manchester City does have the “Winning Project” that he desperately wants. PSG, Inter and Juventus are contenders but Man City are the most probable destination with the money, Pep and a winning project all things points towards it.

A major revolution is about to happen at the Camp Nou, which has been made especially clear after the appointment of Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman has told 4 major Barcelona players that he does not have them in his plans and to look for new clubs. The 4 players being: Luis Suarez, Samuel Umtiti, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic. Messi’s transfer will surely leave a big gaping hole in the club for sure but it will provide a lot of funds to Barcelona to have an even bigger revolution and rebuilding of the club.

When the reports came out, the Barcelona locals were absolutely fuming with rage and went to the streets outside of the Camp Nou and were demanding Bartomeu’s resignation as a last ditch effort to maybe change the mind of the greatest player ever to dawn the red and blue jersey. In the emergency meeting following Messi’s request, reports say that many board members resigned and asked for a vote of no confidence against Josep Maria Bartomeu. All the presidential candidates have also come out on twitter abd other social media platform to force Bartomeu in admitting his mistakes and finally resign as the club President but he seems adamant to not do so.

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It is downright shameful the how, the when and most importantly the why of Messi’s departure is being handled. This man has given FC Barcelona a lot more than they could have asked for and more so dream of. For him to have to take these extreme measures and still getting next to none response from the board is abysmal.

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