Did Barcelona make a mistake by not selling Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi has made a name for himself by playing at Barcelona since childhood and has become a legendary figure. Although he came close to leaving the Catalans this season, he has managed to stay on. But, has Barca made a mistake by not selling him?
Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi is famous for playing at the Spanish club, Barcelona. He has been playing for the Catalan since 2001, besides making a tremendous name for himself and becoming a club legend.
While his career might have spanned for 20 years, it could come to an end, as the Argentine has been linked to a move away from Camp Nou. Before the start of the ongoing La Liga season, Messi had handed in a transfer request, after being unimpressed with the then-club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu.
However, the club decided against letting him go, while Bartomeu agreed to step down, as a new president would be elected in March. Meanwhile, Messi's contract comes to an end after the ongoing season, while he is yet to renew it, with big clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in the reckoning.
As fans wonder if he would stick at the club, former Barca legend, Rivaldo feels otherwise. According to the Brazilian, Barca might have made a mistake by not letting him go, mainly because the Catalan is under severe financial crisis, whereas allowing the Argentine go would have eased the situation.
"Barcelona were not in good financial health pre-pandemic, but things got nasty in the last year and beyond Lionel Messi's almost inevitable departure, the club may need to sell some more important players to generate income. As I mentioned previously, the club's board made a mistake by not selling Lionel Messi while he was still under contract, something Real Madrid did with Cristiano Ronaldo receiving around €100million in exchange [from transfer to Juventus]," wrote Rivaldo for his column on Betfair.
"It's sad to see such a talented and valuable player leaving Barca for free when the club is going through so many financial problems. But, looking to potential transfers that might occur, I think Phillipe Coutinho time may have been coming to an end. He has admirers in England and perhaps, Barcelona could generate some good income with his sale, allowing them to keep others like Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann," he added.
Barca is currently struggling in the La Liga, placed third in the table, with 10 points behind the league leader, Atletico Madrid. Barca came under heavy criticisms last season, following its horrendous performance in the UEFA Champions League quarters, where it was hammed 8-2 by the eventual champion, Bayern Munich.