Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona, Laporta promises
- Lionel Messi continues to be linked with a Barcelona return after emotionally leaving last season due to the club’s financial problems.
- Messi, now 35, joined Barcelona as a teenager and spent 21 years at the club before leaving to join PSG last summer.
- Laporta has revealed that he intends to bring Messi back to Camp Nou in order for him to retire at the club.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that he wants to re-sign Lionel Messi from Paris Saint-Germain in order to ensure the Argentine legend retires at the club.
Messi, now 35, joined Barcelona as a teenager and spent 21 years at the club before leaving to join PSG last summer.
His emotional departure only happened because Barcelona had exceeded La Liga’s wage cap and was therefore unable to offer Messi a new deal upon the expiry of his contract.
Messi was linked with a reunion with former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City but instead joined ex-team-mate Neymar at PSG.
The Argentine superstar helped PSG win Ligue 1 in his first season at the club, reclaiming the title from Lille, who had been triumphant in the 2020-21 campaign.
What has been said?
Laporta has now revealed that he intends to bring Messi back to Camp Nou in order for him to retire at the club. As reported by Toni Juanmarti, Laporta told the media: “I think we will make it a reality for Messi to retire at Barça.”
He also added that he feels “partially responsible for how things ended” with Messi and intends to re-sign the player before his career ends.
It comes just days after Xavi admitted that a move for Messi wasn’t possible this summer, although he refused to rule out a future deal. Xavi told reporters: “Yes [I want Messi to return], but at the moment, Leo has a contract with another club, so it’s impossible.
“It’s impossible. It doesn’t make sense talking about Messi now. He is the best footballer in the world and in the history of football. We will see in the future.”
Earlier in July, Laporta also told ESPN: “Messi was everything. I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over. I think it’s our responsibility to try to find a moment to fix that chapter, which is still open and hasn’t closed, so it turns out like it should have, and that it has a more beautiful ending.”
Speaking exclusively to FootballTransfers, CBS reporter Ben Jacobs asserted his understanding that Messi is focused on the World Cup in December and will not entertain offers until after the tournament.
Messi is thought to be open to staying at PSG as well as moving back to Barcelona but will likely make a decision next year after assessing his fitness and priorities.
Messi scored 672 goals for Barcelona during his time at the club and has won seven Ballon d’Or during his career.