18 Sep Lionel Messi news: Barca celebrity right to possess contract doubts awarded Champions League woes
The generally media-shy Argentine has pointedly advised his companies from public that while he’s pleased at Camp Nou, he wishes to become a part of a”winning team”
Hristo Stoichkov contended that Barcelona re-signing Neymar will be similar to falling a”bomb within the dressing room”.
Actually, the unsuccessful pursuit of this Brazilian has experienced a larger effect on that the Blaugrana team, leaving Ernesto Valverde to pick up those bits.
Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele were clearly left bitterly mad by being used as makeweights from the bid to deliver Neymar back to Camp Nou with their approval.
Of even greater importance, however, is the simple fact that Lionel Messi heads a group of mature players frustrated by team president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s failure to re-unite them using their great friend.
Messi does not actually do volatile interviews. His outburst following Argentina’s contentious Copa America removal was very much out of character. Messi seldom speaks to the media; if he can, he gives little off.
Therefore, it was telling the last week that he went public with his disappointment over Barca’s inability to re-sign Neymar, and also publicly contested the club’s devotion to getting the deal done.
“I really don’t understand what happened against the supervisors, I understand they had been talking with Neymar,” the Argentine told Sport past Thursday. “Neymar told me things were moving. He had been actually excited about coming back.
“I know it is hard to negotiate with PSG and with Neymar because he is among the very best. These discussions are not simple. However, the truth is I’d have adored him to return to us.
“I know some folks were against it and that is normal considering everything that occurred and the way he abandoned us, but considering it on a sporting level, Neymar is, for me personally, among the greatest players on earth.
“Obviously, he’d have improved our odds of getting the outcomes that most of us want.”
And that is the essential problem here: achievement.
As he confessed before the beginning of last year, Messi is desperate to win the Champions League again and that he considers they would have had a much better prospect of realising that target in 2019-20 with Neymar back in Barcelona’s beginning line-up.
It’s easy to comprehend why, of class: Neymar played a pivotal part in the Catalans’ past European Cup victory, together with all the Brazil worldwide, Messi and Luis Suarez all scoring 10 targets in a thrilling effort that culminated in a 3-1 victory over Juventus in the final.
Barca clearly have more pressing strategic, defensive and psychological problems, as was made so painfully evident throughout the knockout stage second-leg collapses at Roma and Liverpool, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
However, those defects have just increased the strain on the captain to paper over the cracks with moments of individual brilliance, as he strove valiantly to perform last term, together with 51 aims in 50 looks in all competitions.
It is apparent that Messidependencia is back with a vengeance, the dependence on that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner possibly as good as it ever was. One just has to consider just how Barca have fought with no skipper in away matches this year for proof of this.
So, it’s simple to know why Messi believed that Neymar — for most of his flaws — might have helped enhance his load. Whether he would have done so is open to discussion, given the 27-year-old’s fitness problems over the previous two seasons.
But, that is really besides the point. It is irrelevant if Neymar could have solved any of Barca’s issues; what things is that Messi clearly believes he’d have.
Messi and Suarez stay near Neymar — the three South Americans still talk about a WhatsApp band — but that the skipper did not need the former Santos guy back simply because they are friends; he desired him back since Neymar is an established performer at the highest degree.
Messi might be forgiven for believing Barca have not earned enough players of the ilk because Neymar’s sudden passing in the summer of 2017. Messi has ever spoken glowingly of Dembele’s potential and talent but last week that he made a point of advocating the French winger to”be professional”.
As Messi pointed out, ability is not enough to make it as demanding a stadium as Camp Nou:”It is difficult to play for Barcelona.”
Philippe Coutinho can vouch for this; the former Liverpool man looked a great match for Barca on due to his sleek type of drama, yet there wasn’t any space for him personally on the pitch.
And that traces at a faulty transfer strategy. Barca made Coutinho that the third-most costly player ever however had not figured out ahead whether he had been to be utilised in midfield or up front.
This lack of foresight is due by the fact the 12 players signed at the 18 weeks which followed Neymar’s departure (Marlon Santos, Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo, Paulinho, Dembele, Coutinho, Yerry Mina, Arthur Melo, Clement Lenglet, Malcom, Arturo Vidal and Jean-Clair Todibo), just Arthur and Lenglet might be considered unqualified success stories.
Hardly surprising, then, that Messi — that has a clause in his contract, which runs until 2021, letting him depart nothing next year — was tellingly non-committal about his potential.
“I have said during my career this is my house,” he said. “However, I also don’t Want a long term contract and just be here for this…
“For me personally, cash or exemptions do not mean anything. Other items inspire me and the main issue is using a winning team.”
Messi clearly has his doubts regarding if Barca have supplied him with a single capable of regaining the Champions League.
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Therefore, while La Masia feeling Ansu Fati has triumphed at a bright future together with his latest breakthrough, the strain is currently on the latest arrivals — Frenkie de Jong, Emerson, Neto, Antoine Griezmann, Marc Cucurella and Junior Firpo — to vindicate Bartomeu’s recruiting strategy.
An unsatisfied Messi will be free to depart an ineffective Barcelona next year.
The clock on that the Messi timebomb is ticking.