Joan Laporta: FC Barcelona president discusses Lionel Messi for the first time since he made his debut for PSG

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The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta said it was strange for him to watch Lionel Messi play in a Paris Saint Germain shirt. He stressed that he never wanted to see the 34-year-old Argentine football icon play for another club.

Recall that Lionel Messi spent 17 years in FC Barcelona senior team before his contract with the Spanish giants expired on June 30, 2021. Barcelona tried to renew his contract but the financial complications at the club made it impossible for that to happen.

Earlier in August 2021, FC Barcelona announced that they would not be able to offer Messi a new contract which signaled the end of Messi’s era at the club.

The excuse was that Messi’s wages would make it impossible for Barcelona to meet up with Serie’s financial fair play. Even after Messi accepts a pay cut, it was not still enough to normalize the financial situation at the club.

Hence, the 34-year-old Argentine football star had to join Paris Saint Germain for free. The French club offered him a two-year deal which will expire on June 30, 2023.

Messi made his debut for PSG on August 29, 2021, against Reims. He entered as a substitute in the 66th minute. He replaced Neymar, his former teammate at FC Barcelona.

Barcelona president, Joan Laporta said he has not had the opportunity to communicate with Messi since he signed for PSG.

Laporta also claimed that Spanish La Liga tried to push the club to sign the CVC agreement to give them the green light to renew Messi’s contract.

“There are objective data. Everyone can compare”, Laporta told Esport3. “We were pressured that we would either sign the CVC loan [deal] or there is no fair play.

“There was no margin. There was a pre-agreement and we had shaken hands. There were several agreements and LaLiga seemed to accept it, but then they said no without CVC. We didn’t think that the situation was going to improve and we put an end to it.

“Messi could not have stayed even with [Antoine] Griezmann’s [departure] and with the salary reduction of the captains. But we must lower the salary cap because next year we can be more ambitious.

“I think we were both sad because the situation was not what we wanted. I have not spoken with Messi since. I saw his debut with PSG and it was strange to see him at another team, rivals [of Barcelona]. I did not like seeing him in another shirt.”

Joan Laporta praises Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets

Joan Laporta praises Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta appreciated the likes of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets who accepted a pay cut to help salvage the financial status of the club.

The three veterans accepted a pay cut after months of back and forth between them and FC Barcelona just like how Messi did.

“The reduction [of the expenditure] is important, [as] we have gone from 110 to 80 percent,” Laporta said.

“I want to congratulate the executives and the financial department of Barcelona for their work, and all those who have worked tirelessly and extraordinarily.

“And we have some heroes in [Gerard] Pique, [Jordi] Alba, [Sergio] Busquets and we will seal [the deal with] Sergi Roberto.

“What they have done is admirable. They are committed to the club, to the members. It is admirable. And we will continue with other players, such as [Samuel] Umtiti and others from the first team. We are in a process that is not easy.

“First the captains have set an example, and now we will continue with others.”