- Boris Miranda (@ivanbor)
- BBC News World
28 august 2020
They consider it the end of an era, of a golden stage and one that will very possibly be missed for decades by FC Barcelona fans.
When asking Lionel Messi his club exit Catalan caused an earthquake that was felt beyond the world of football.
But, at the same time, the cracks that his decision leaves open may be the beginning of a new horizon for the culé team. Is it possible that Barça will also win if the march is consumed?
The opinions of BBC experts are divided, as is almost always the case when talking about football. We try to analyze it below.
Sooner or later the cycles end.
Messi is 33 years old and arrived in Catalonia at 13. He made his debut with Barcelona in the children’s category and was climbing until his debut with the first team in a friendly
He made his debut in November 2003 against Porto FC and was once again part of the first team against Shakhtar Donetsk in February 2004.
Almost nine months later it would be released in an official match by the decision of coach Frank Rijkaard. That’s how it all started.
And it would not take long for him to become the face of a team that won more than 30 official titles from that 2005 game in which Ronaldinho enabled him twice for Leo to score his first official goal dressed as a Blaugrana.
“Without Messi, Barcelona might not have achieved everything it did,” says Fernando Duarte, a BBC journalist.
However, he adds that “the divorce” and the need for a transition in the club had already been seen to come for a long time.
“What Barcelona win may be an opportunity, but it seems they are not ready. They did not prepare at that time, “he explains.
Duarte explains that a lot in the club was armed around Messi and now the challenge may be to build a different squad without his presence.
When Ronaldinho left Barcelona in 2008, after four titles in Spain, a Champions League and winning the Golden Ball, the doors were opened to the reign of Lionel.
Now we will have to wait if history can be repeated with the future Barcelona, says the journalist.
Too much power?
Those who think that with the departure of Messi also win Barcelona cling to the idea that he had accumulated too much power. And it is that his influence was always a matter of wide debate.
For example, in Argentina, the concept of the “club of friends” was forged: the group of players who were pointed out to be Leo’s favorites to play for that country’s national team, such as Javier Mascherano, Sergio “Kun” Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín or Ever Banega.
And a similar discussion took place in Barcelona, where it is true that he exerted a lot of influence but also that not all the club’s decisions were to his total satisfaction.
“By a great distance he is the best in the world and that is why he acquired a lot of power. When there were problems, even in managing the team, he took the lead”, explains Andy West, BBC columnist and author of the book “Lionel Messi and the Art of Living “(Lionel Messi and the art of living, 2019).
West identifies that in Barcelona there is also a kind of “club of friends” of Messi with Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Gerard Piqué, among others. All very successful players, but who are already over 30 years old.
However, West does not hesitate to point out that the club never made decisions due to some whim of Messi and in fact points out episodes that were not to the taste of 10, such as the departure of coach Ernesto Valverde at the beginning of the year.
Guillem Balague, a journalist who covers Spanish football for the BBC, has a similar opinion.
“It is not true that Messi had so much influence. It is a myth. It is true that presidents ask their stars, it also happened with Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid. They all do it and logically they do it to Messi,” says Balague.
Balague gives as an example that Messi would have preferred the return of Neymar Jr. instead of the signing of Antoine Griezmann.
Although he adds that the current directive ceded more and more power to the dressing room and that Messi has taken advantage of it.
“The power parcels are a bit unbalanced compared to other clubs,” he says.
The three analysts agree that a renewal window opens for the culé team, mainly due to the economic factor.
Messi tries that his departure from Barcelona does not go through the millionaire termination clause of his current contract.
But even if the club does not manage to receive the US $ 700 million established there, it will be able to dispose of the money that it would release by getting rid of its salary. More of US$130 millones yearly.
This is not a negligible figure considering that some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona, reported drastic drops in their income in 2020.
Although, on the other hand, the income generated by the club from the advertising contracts produced by its captain and the sale of shirts with his last name stamped may also be blank.
What will the Blaugrana life be like without Messi? Balague is optimistic and lists great and young talents that the club has.
20-year-old Portuguese Francisco Threesome It is one of them. Also the Uruguayan Ronald Araujo (21) or the youth squad Riqui Puig.
And Ansu Fati, with just 17 and with a great capacity for imbalance in his game.
“Messi would have been delighted to have him more often,” concludes the BBC journalist.
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