FC Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud wants Lionel Messi to go if he fails to accept a pay cut

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FC Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud said the club’s talisman Lionel Messi would leave the club if he fails to accept a pay cut.

Rousaud insisted that when he becomes the club’s president, he and his new executives would have to sit down to discuss with the 33-year-old Argentine football icon about his future at the club and he has to make some sacrifices.

Since August 2020 when Lionel Messi informed FC Barcelona that he was ready to leave the club, the 6 times Ballon d’Or winner has been more or less a campaign content for those vying for the office of the club’s president.

Recall that the Argentina international tried all he could to ensure that he leaves the club during the 2020 summer transfer window but all to no avail. He was not able to make the Spanish giants release him for free with less than a year left on his contract.

During the period he wanted to leave FC Barcelona, Premier League club, Manchester City were rumored to be interested in his services. But the leadership of FC Barcelona led by the club’s former president Josep Maria Bartomeu was able to prevail on him to stay.

When Bartomeu bowed to pressure from fans and some stakeholders of the club to resign, those aspiring to take over from him have been coming up with different ways they intend to handle Lionel Messi’s situation at the club.

His current contract with the Spanish club will expire in June 2021, yet, he and FC Barcelona have not started discussing a new contract because of the political instability at the club. Talk for a new contract between Messi and FC Barcelona is expected to resume after January 24, when the club must have elected a new president.

 Emili Rousaud
FC Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud.

If Emili Rousaud is voted in, his priority would not be to keep Messi at the club until he retired from professional football, he would focus on ensuring that the Argentine football icon who has been playing for Barcelona senior team since he was 17-year-old, accept a pay cut or leave.

“We’ll have to sit down with Messi and ask him to take a salary cut,” Rousaud told ARA. “Right now, with things as they are, it’s unsustainable.

“We’ll ask him to make the sacrifice. If there’s no agreement, then Messi will leave.

“Messi has written the most brilliant pages in the club’s history. We have to honor our legends, but the reality is what it is.

“I believe that things have to be said as they are. We can’t fool our members. We’ll make every effort to ensure he stays, but always with the interests of the club first.”

Since Lionel Messi started playing for FC Barcelona senior team in 2004, the Argentine right-winger who can also play as a center-forward or a second striker has scored a total of 642 goals and has provided 282 assists in 746 games for FC Barcelona.

So far in the 2020-2021 season, Lionel Messi has scored a total of 8 goals and has provided 4 assists in 15 games in all competitions.

In his 17 years as FC Barcelona senior team player, Messi has helped the club to win a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey.