It was a Tuesday evening in the off season, the news had broken that Lionel Messi had handed in a transfer request via fax to his beloved club Barcelona – the club in which he had been at since he was 13 years old. This came as a huge surprise the footballing world, with many just accepting that Messi would retire at the Catalonian club, especially with him now being 33 years old.

However, after a poor season this year, with them throwing away a La Liga lead pre-lockdown and gifting their rivals Real Madrid the title after some questionable performances which is very unlike the Barcelona’s of previous season. Also, and probably even worse is the beating they took from Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League losing 8-2 – something that Messi cannot be relied on to deliver magic every time they are struggling.

Messi would have been embarrassed by this, and we assume that this ultimately lead to his decision to want to leave the club. Now at times over this summer transfer saga, Messi was as low as 8/11 to reunite with ex-manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and one that would have made the history books in terms of signing fee and contract terms. He was adamant that City were the club for him to join and that they had won his heart with the vision and the direction of the club was going in.

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Ultimately, Messi wants to win the Champions League again, he’s made that very clear in interviews, he even addressed a full Camp Nou and said that he will bring the coveted trophy back to Barcelona. However, this is looking even less likely with Barca seriously in the middle of a rebuilding stage and the squad doesn’t seem to be up to the task of him being able to win the Champions League; especially compared to Manchester City.

However, it has recently come to light that Messi has taken a U-turn in his decision to leave Barcelona and now is “90% chance that Messi will continue in Barcelona next season” and a final decision will be made public in the coming days. Messi apparently is now seriously evaluating staying at Barca until 2021 when his contract expires, and then will be free to leave out of the front door without any legal battle that could have potentially happened this year.

Chris Darwen
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