HYDERABAD: On August 8, football fans all over the world saw a teary Lionel Messi bid adieu to FC Barcelona after playing in the Spanish club for roughly two decades. With FC Barcelona, Messi had 778 appearances, 672 goals, 10 league titles, four Champions League crowns and three Club World Cups. But the final goodbye was not on the football field, but through a mere press conference. Messi’s departure was unceremonious, premature and seemed to do little justice to the player’s illustrious career in the club.
Though the Argentinian wanted to continue with the club, the latter, unfortunately, could not afford to let Messi continue with FCB due to La Liga’s wage-cap rules. However, Messi’s exit is also blamed on the alleged poor handling of finances by the club.
“I was shocked to hear about Messi’s exit because most of the reliable journalists had confirmed that Messi would continue in FCB. In short, the club chose Super League over Messi. They needed the Super League because they are in a loss of 500 million euros.
Even though it was a valid decision, it was difficult to understand. Frankly, it was the fault of the previous president of FCB, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has left a mess for the new president Joan Laporta to clear,” says Rohit Suvarna, a content writer.
For a generation of football fans, Messi was an inspiration and will continue to be so. “Feels like I have lost a part in me. I grew up watching him play at F C B . The years of him gracing us with his magic while donning the Barcelona shirt, all the great moments, countless trophies and to hear that we are losing him due to La Liga’s wage-cap rule hurts.
More so, when there were reports two weeks ago that Barcelona have renewed his contract for five years. So the news of his departure is shocking and devastating. I’m sad his last game was in an empty stadium and he won’t even get a proper send-off because of the pandemic,” says Elton George, a software engineer.
Messi has agreed to move to France’s giant Paris Saint- Germain (PSG) FC, as per reputed journalists. Though it will be difficult for fans to see Messi play in any other jersey other than the FCB colours, it’s a move that some believe is for the best.
“It’s probably the first time he will be moving to a new country. I know Messi is loyal but he is wasting his time in Barcelona. He has been carrying the club for a while now. Maybe destiny arrived in a weird way for him. And PSG is also probably the best club for him as they just made four top signings,” adds Rohit.
However, others are a little more hopeful that Messi might return to FCB. “While this most definitely is sad, I will be forever grateful for all the good times and wish him the best for his future. Also, like Leo said -- ‘I’m leaving but it’s not a goodbye, just a see you later.’ I really hope he is back in some capacity again at the club in the future because he’s such an important part of the history and hopefully the future as well,” says Sanchit Botra, who works for an IT firm.