Barcelona president Joan Laporta has taken a dig at Lionel Messi for joining MLS side Inter Miami, saying it looks ‘strange’.
Messi scored a fine free-kick on his debut against Cruz Azul before scoring a brace versus Atlanta on Wednesday, 26th July, 2023.
Lionel Messi was linked with a return to his former club Barca where he spent 17 years between 2004 and 2021.
Barcelona President Joan Laporta was reportedly heavily involved in the negotiation to see him return to the Spanish side.
However, an agreement was never reached and Lionel Messi instead moved to the Stateside to link up with David Beckham and meet his new team-mates.
Laporta said: “It’s a strange feeling, we identify Messi with Barcelona. That’s the way I think most supporters see Messi, because most of his career has been at Barca.”
“But we respect his decision and we wish the best for him. We want the best for our players. He came to Barcelona as a kid, 14 years old, and he spent 20 years with us. I hope he can be very happy in Miami.”
Messi father, Jorge – who is also his agent – admitted during negotiations that he wanted his son to return to Spain.
“Leo wants to return to Barcelona and I’d love to see him back to Barca,” he added. “Barca move is an option for sure.”
Lionel Messi ended up moving to North America and continues to excite fans of Inter after two impressive performances so far.
Joan Laporta still speaking on Messi’s return to Barcelona confirmed that: “It was very close.”
“At the end, we reached an agreement with LaLiga that authorized us to add him to the squad.”
“But Leo was coming from a situation in Paris where he was under a lot of pressure. His father told me that he needed a place where he won’t be under pressure and at Barca that would not be the case because of the meaning of the return of our hero.”
Joan Laporta Estruchis is a Spanish politician and current president of FC Barcelona. He was born on 29 June, 1962.
The Spaniard is a lawyer with his own firm, Laporta & Arbós, which has a number of notable Spanish firms as clients.
Laporta served as MP in the Parliament of Catalonia between 2010 and 2012.
Joan Laporta was re-elected as club president in 2021 after he left his position in 2010.
Lionel Messi In MLS
Lionel Messi just like in 2021 when he shocked the world with a move to PSG has done the same now but to MLS side Inter Miami.
The former Barcelona attacker’s future was in the air, with the likes of his former club, FC Barcelona, and Saudi side Al-Hilal wanting to sign the World Cup winner.
Lionel Messi, 36, leaves Europe for the first time in his successful career, where he won a combined 43 trophies during his 17 years at Camp Nou and his two seasons at PSG.