LaLiga: You Couldn’t Retain Messi, signed Ferran Torres For £45m – Koeman Blasts Barcelona

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Former Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman has accused the club for letting Lionel Messi leave last summer.

Koeman was sacked by the LaLiga giants in October after a string of poor results.

The Dutchman has spoken about his surprise at Barca splashing £45million to land Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Torres’ signing came soon after Koeman himself was forced into allowing several players exit in the summer, even Messi, who joined PSG on a free transfer.

Messi’s departure was as a result of Barcelona’s financial struggles that meant they could not afford to renew his contract.

“It was at the insistence of the club’s hierarchy that I agreed to the departure of certain players to help put the finances in order.

“But then when you see that they sign someone for €55m shortly after letting Messi go, it makes you wonder if something else was happening. Why did Messi have to leave?” Koeman told Dutch newspaper, AD.

Why is Lionel Messi’s Barcelona departure a football tragedy?

Messi spent over two decades at Barcelona, and is the most decorated player in the club. Even his children are Argentine-Catalan.

There were various brinkmanship attempts when things did not go down well on the pitch, including a call to exit the club ahead of the 2020-21 season. He shared an acrimonious relationship with former club president Josep Bartomeu. However, when Joan Laporta replaced Bartomeu, Messi committed his future to Barcelona.

On the 1st of July, he was a free agent, with a new contract being formalised.

Messi said; “We had everything agreed, but at the last minute, it couldn’t happen. This year I wanted to stay and I couldn’t. Last year I didn’t want to stay, and I said it,”.

What did Barcelona say on Messi’s exit?

On August 5, Barcelona confirmed via an official statement that Messi “will not continue” with the club. A day later, Laporta disclosed: “Leo wanted to stay and the Club wanted him to stay, but with the LaLiga rules it has not been possible.”

The club desired to extend the 34-year-old’s contract by two years, however, LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules prevented it. As per the rules, Barcelona’s wage-to-turnover percentage must be 70 per cent.

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