Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona next year has become a real possibility.
The idea of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner playing for a club other than the Blaugrana seems nothing short of incompatible, but it seems as though he’s lost his patience with the club hierarchy.
Cadena SER reported on Thursday night that negotiations for Messi’s contract extension had reached an impasse and that he no longer intended to extend his stay at Camp Nou.
It’s believe that Messi is fed up with the ‘chitter chatter’ that’s emerged about him under Josep Maria Bartomeu, which rings true after his public spat with sporting director Eric Abidal in February.
Naturally, the news has sent shockwaves through the footballing world and with Messi unlikely to return to Newell’s Old Boys as soon as 2021, moving elsewhere in Europe could be on the cards.
Messi and Ronaldo together?
But as much as that might make Manchester City fans weak at the knees, it’s the second favourites for his signature that have attracted the most discussion this week: Juventus.
Simply put, it would be incredible to see Messi playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo before the two greatest footballers of their generation inevitably retire in the coming seasons.
Ronaldo on Messi playing in Italy
It’s beggar belief that the two have never shared the same dressing room, not even in a charity match, so at least a season of them doing so would be something for the history books.
But how would Ronaldo feel about that? Well, if you go off his stereotyped public image, then perhaps you’d think it would wound his ego, but comments from the man himself suggest otherwise.
Per a translation from the Independent, Ronaldo mused about Messi joining him in Italy in 2018 by telling Gazzetta dello Sport: “Maybe Messi misses me.
“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.
“Maybe he needs me more… For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy.
“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that.
“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
I want to see it happen, I really do, but I just can’t imagine Juventus pulling it off.
I’m not sure it makes sense in the wake of a global pandemic to sully your wage bill with two of the highest-earning athletes in the world when they’re both in their thirties.
And yes, it would make a commercial killing in the short-term, but you have to wonder whether dividing their images and profiles by putting them in one place would see that tail off eventually.
Because, like it or not, one would inevitably outshine the other.
If Messi will indeed leave Barcelona, which I still doubt, I’m inclined to think that City would be his favoured destination or perhaps Inter Milan if he was to make Italy his new home.
All that being said, though, can somebody just stage a charity match and pop them on the same team-sheet? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.