• Apollon Bairaktaridis

Lionel Messi has a Big Decision to Make About his Future

Lionel Messi, considered by many to be the world's best soccer player, has been a fixture at Barcelona for many years. But now many see a move away from the Catalonian club to be a real possibility for the Argentine superstar.



Lionel Messi (Photo: forbes.com)


Lionel Messi has been in the headlines several times over the past months. The news referred not as they always do about his magnificent achievement as a professional, (15 goals and 7 assists in currently 12 games he played since January) but about if he is going to stay in Barcelona or leave for another big club like Manchester City or PSG. Many rumors spread across the world, as he did not renew his contract and is now allowed to negotiate with any team he wants. Even other players made statements about that topic. Angel Di Maria, currently playing for France-based PSG, for example confirmed being optimistic about a Messi transfer to PSG something that caused a negative reaction from Barcelona Coach Ronald Koeman who considered this a disrespectful statement as Messi is still a player at Barcelona. How is the current situation about the possible options he has?


Option 1: Staying in Barcelona

The reason Messi’s escapism appeared was the missing of any sort of ambition in the club, at least since coach Pep Guardiola left in the 2012. The quality of individual players like Neymar and Suárez kept Barcelona at the top level and lead also to one more Champions League title in the 2014-2015 season. But as soon as Neymar left in 2017 for PSG, the club experienced one big defeat after another in the Champions League. Messi was able to keep the team competitive in Spain’s La Liga but he was not able to achieve anything more. His ambitions were reduced as the ones of the club did. This factor and also the toxic environment that existed in the club let this debate start in the first place. The odds signaled that he would leave, but then on March 7th Joan Laporta became the new president of Barcelona by succeeding Josep Maria Bartomeu the former president who was often criticized for the fall of team. Laporta contributed to the success in the past history of the team, something he will try to achieve one more time. His emotional statement about Messi to try everything to hold him in the team proved that.


Option 2: Transfer to PSG

The possibility for Messi to join the current Champions of France’s Ligue 1 is really imaginable. PSG is not just one of the few teams that could afford that economically, but also one that can provide Messi with one of his biggest desires: to win the Champions League one more time. PSG presented in the last years a team that became stronger every year stronger, reaching the Final of the Champions League for the first time in the history last year. This season they already knocked out Barcelona in the round of 16. Messi would find in PSG also his former colleague and friend Neymar. Besides fellow Argentinean players like Paredes, Di Maria and Icardi, Messi would also be on the team of the Argentinean coach Mauricio Pochettino.


Option 3: Transfer to Manchester City

In Manchester City he would meet his former coach Pep Guardiola, with whom he dominated European football and was also able to win the Champions League twice (2009, 2011). He would also find a competitive club, that was able to dominate the Premier League this year and will now set their focus to the Champions League, a competition they were never able to win. Manchester City is also lucrative for Lionel Messi as rumors appeared that he could join after his remaining „good years“ in the highest level one club of the City Football Group (a holding community in which also Manchester City belongs).


Conclusion:

Messi’s decision remains ultimately his own. Only one thing is certain for us. As the season continues progressing, the time of his announcement will come closer. Will his priority be to remain in the team he learned to love over the years now that a change is happening there or will his priority be to try winning the Champions League one more time with another team? His decision will answer that question.

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