Lionel Messi and his crew at PSG are said to be fed up with Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s persistent comments.
Laporta recently gave an interview in which he inevitably brought up Messi, calling players who join Paris Saint-Germain “slaves for money” and considering the possibility of getting the Argentine back if he cancels his contract in Paris.
According to Cadena SER, Lionel Messi and his entourage were not pleased with Laporta’s remarks, and they had already asked him to refrain from commenting about the Argentine in public.
Jorge Messi, the PSG player’s father and representative, is alleged to have spoken with Laporta earlier this year and politely requested that he move on from Messi in the media.
Laporta, on the other hand, has not done so, and the Lionel Messi family is believed to be extremely dissatisfied with the president.
While Laporta did not say anything particularly offensive, it is thought that Messi is frustrated by the repeated speculations that he might return to Barcelona in the future. The 34-year-old footballer has one more year left on his contract with PSG and has no plans to depart before the contract expires.
With PSG binding Kylian Mbappe to a massive new contract, Laporta said that the Parisians frequently dole out such large contracts that players are unable to leave, using phrases like ‘kidnapped’ and ‘slaves.’
The Barcelona president said he is still a tremendous fan of both Messi and Neymar, but confessed that getting either back – if that was ever an option – would be extremely difficult for the club, requiring both players to break their contracts in Paris.
What did Joan Laporta say?
Joan Laporta has slammed Paris Saint-Germain’s capacity to bribe players with cash, stating that the Ligue 1 champions are ‘kidnapping players for cash.’
Barcelona were never in the competition for Mbappe, who astonished Real Madrid by opting to extend his stay in Paris, but they have experienced PSG’s financial might before, having lost Neymar for a cool €222 million in 2017.
The Barcelona president did not hold back in expressing his anger with PSG’s operations in an interview with L’Esportiu.
“This distorts the market,” he said of Mbappe’s extension. “Players end up being kidnapped for money.
“These are the effects of a club having a state behind it. This is against all of the European Union’s values. It is a reflection on football’s long-term viability in Europe.
“From a Barcelona perspective, there is a direct rival that does not come out stronger and we are glad that he cannot make us squirm when it comes to competing, but I’m left reflecting on the sustainability of football, because I don’t think we should care so much about a rival either.
“We have to worry about having a competitive team, which is what we are trying to do. It has been seen that when we have cared more about ourselves than our rivals, things have gone well.”
The conversation then shifted to Neymar, whom Laporta branded as a PSG’slave.’
“Who doesn’t love Neymar? He is an exceptional player,” Laporta began.
“He has a contract with PSG, he has four or five years left. These players who have signed for clubs like PSG, have almost signed their slavery. For money.”
Laporta was less critical of Lionel Messi’s move to the Ligue 1 club last summer, admitting that he would consider re-signing both the Argentine and Neymar if they were available on a free transfer.