Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world on Friday by announcing he would stay at FC Barcelona. That is a big reversal for the 33-year-old superstar who was determined to leave a few days ago.
It appears Messi returning wasn't entirely out of love for his long-time club. In his return announcement Messi essentially said he was returning because he didn't want to go to court or pay a financial penalty. He also ripped the team's management:
While Messi did say he loves the club and didn't want to take it to court to gain his release or hurt it financially, he made clear he wasn't happy and wanted to leave:
""All year I've been telling the president I wanted to leave, that the time had come to look for new challenges in my career. ... Sending the burofax was making it official that I wanted to leave and that I'd go for free, I wasn't going to use the optional year and I wanted to go. It wasn't meant to cause trouble, or to go against the club, it was a way of making it official because my decision was taken.""
""For some time now we have not had a plan or anything [at the club], we have been making quick fixes and improvising," Messi said, adding that the burofax he sent to the club announcing he wanted to leave "was only to make it official that I wanted to go, because the president was not paying attention to what I was saying.""
The fact that a club isn't taking the advice of arguably the greatest footballer of all-time, is ludicrous.
Messi also noted that he'd have to pay a €700 million release clause to leave the club, which is absolutely absurd. He would have had to sue to gain his release, hence the comments about going to court.
Yeah, this doesn't seem like a happy marriage. In fact, it feels like a guy saying, "I'm not getting divorced because it would be too expensive." That's not a great recipe for future success.
Messi was signed by Barcelona in 2000, when he was just 13. He's been with the club for 20 years and it looks like he'll be with it for yet another season.