Is Lionel Messi frustrated enough to pull up roots?
The Barcelona superstar will leave the club in 2021 unless a “drastic restructuring” takes place, Spanish radio station COPE reported Saturday, according to Goal.com. COPE’s bombshell report comes in the aftermath of Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
Messi’s contract will expire after the 2020-21 season, and Barcelona will be powerless to stop him from taking his talents elsewhere if he decides to do so next summer. Barcelona tried to sign him to an extension this season, but he reportedly broke off talks over a new deal due to his frustration with Barcelona’s board of directors, who have overseen the club’s fall from grace.
“He is fed up of being accused of running the club, fed up of people saying he hires and fires the coaches, fed up of claims he chooses who should be signed and who should play and fed up with the general direction of the club and the huge mistakes they have made in the transfer market,” The BBC’s Guillem Balague wrote in July.
Messi, 33, is one of the soccer’s best-ever players and has spent his entire career with Barcelona after joining the club at age 13 from his hometown of Rosario, Argentina.
But after 20 years in his adopted home and having previously stated he never will play for another European club, is the end of his Barcelona road on the horizon?
Barcelona’s elections are scheduled for next year, but the club’s members might force the board to resign and call for a new ballot before then.