Column: Messi announces intent to leave FC Barcelona

Nick Bays, Sports Reporter

Tuesday, August 25, a day that will go down in infamy for the soccer juggernaut FC Barcelona. On this dreaded Tuesday, soccer superstar Lionel Messi announced that he wanted to leave the club and take his talents elsewhere.

There is much speculation as to where the scoring phenom will eventually end up. English Premiere League club Manchester City has emerged as the front runner in the Messi sweepstakes but there are many obstacles in the way of Messi leaving the club to begin with.

For starters, Messi still technically has one more year under contract with Barcelona. He is trying to argue that his contract should allow him to leave the club without any financial burdens to other teams who wish to sign him.

However, Messi was only allowed to forgo this potential, “release clause,” if he notified the club of his exit within a certain window of time.

According to the contract, that window has passed regardless of the season being put on hold due to the corona virus pandemic. This complicates things because that means that for any team to sign the superb striker, they would have to pay the enormous release clause that is estimated around 700 million euros (or over $800 million).

However, even if Messi could negotiate his way out of the humongous release clause, his salary would still be a giant hit to any team that would be willing to sign him. 

Not to mention, FC Barcelona isn’t too keen on the idea of letting go of their generational talent. The team is reportedly undergoing efforts to convince Messi to change his mind and stick with the team.

Barcelona has undergone a disappointing season that was capped off by an 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the champions league quarter final.

If Messi were to leave, the future of the club would certainly look grim.

They’re already trending in the wrong direction, with many of their star veterans reportedly heading elsewhere. Without Messi, their entire winning foundation would be crushed.

Messi potentially leaving isn’t just your average footballer leaving their respected club. Let’s remember that Messi won the prestigious Ballon d’Or six times during his historic run in Barcelona. This award is given to the best player in the world for that year and he has won it six different times.

Not to mention, he helped FC Barcelona win ten Spanish League titles and four Champions League crowns.

This isn’t just a good player leaving their squad. This is an all-time great leaving the only team they’ve played for since the beginning of their illustrious career. The only apt comparison I have would potentially be to Tom Brady.

Regardless of history and potential limitations to his movement, one thing is for certain: Lionel Messi announcing his desire to leave historic FC Barcelona could potentially change the entire soccer landscape going forward.

Although he’s in the twilight of his career, the 33-year-old Messi is still one of the best in the business and any potential team he lands on will be competing for fame and glory right away.

And in the wake of his absence, Barcelona could lose their foundation entirely and crumble beyond repair. This will truly be the end of an era in soccer that saw what felt like never-ending success that ultimately has led to a devastating collapse.

 

Nick Bays can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]