Lionel Messi has revealed that he dreams of playing in Major League Soccer (MLS), the soccer league in the United States, but he is not sure whether the dream can still come to pass.
The 33-year-old Argentina international has been at FC Barcelona a few years before he started his professional soccer career. And ever since he went professional, he has been playing for the Spanish club.
At Barcelona, he won 6 Ballon d’Or and six European Golden Shoes, which are records that might take a long time to achieve if his closest career rival Cristiano Ronaldo fails to break them before he retires from the game.
Besides the two prestigious individual honors, he has won a club-record 33 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey with Barcelona. Despite these achievements, he is always reminded that he has not won much with the Argentina national team.
The dream of winning a major title with Argentina at the senior level is gradually eluding him and it seems his dream of playing in the MLS is also becoming a thing of the past.
“I would like to play in the United States someday, it’s always been one of my dreams… but I don’t know if it will happen”, Messi told La Sexta in an exclusive interview.
FC Barcelona is part of Lionel Messi
Since August 2020, the biggest soccer news has been that Lionel Messi wanted to leave FC Barcelona. He even went as far as submitting an official request to do so. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t exit the club as he planned. He had to stay back to see through the last season left on his contract with the club.
Despite all the back and forth, that existed between Messi and Barcelona, the Argentine football icon says the club is still a part of him.
He went on to reveal that if he had taken his desire to leave the club to court, he would have won the case because many lawyers had assured him of victory. But didn’t want to exit the club through a court order.
“Leaving for free last summer? I knew that if we went to court, we would have won. Not just one lawyer told me that, many did. But I didn’t want to leave Barça in that way…
“I love Barcelona. This club is part of my life and I’d like to be part of Barça also when I’ll retire. I have a love relationship with Barcelona”, Messi noted.
“Barcelona are in a difficult situation right now. It’s difficult for everyone. It’s going to be very hard to be where we once were. So… yes, I would send the burofax again. I’m eternally grateful to this club. I love the club, Barcelona, the city… but I thought I needed a change, I completed a cycle…
“I’m not gonna join Real Madrid or Atlético Madrid. It’s absolutely impossible. I don’t know if I’ll leave Barça, I’ll talk about it at the end of the season”.
Messi is still not happy with Josep Maria Bartomeu
During the period Lionel Messi wanted to leave FC Barcelona, the person at the center of the epistle was the immediate past president of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu. The former club president refused to allow him to go, insisting that any club that wanted to sign him must pay the 700 million euros release clause in Messi’s contract.
Though the drama contributed to the resignation of Bartomeu, Lionel Messi still believes that the former FC Barcelona president deceived him at the club for not respecting the part of the clause that gives him the freedom to leave the club at the end of last season.
“Bartomeu deceived me in many things, I prefer not to go into details, but there were many lies in several years. I spent the whole year telling Bartomeu that I wanted to leave Barcelona. But the president always said ‘No’. The burofax was a way to make it official. I needed a change. I wanted to go, Barça cycle was over, that’s what I thought…
“I’m not negotiating as a free agent with any club. As I said, I have nothing clear until the end of the season. Let’s see how we do this season and what happens.”
Lionel Messi’s conversation with Pep Guardiola
During the thick of the crisis between Lionel Messi and Barcelona, the speculation was that the 33-year-old Argentina international had contacted the coach of Manchester City Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola who coached Messi at Barcelona for four years before he left, reportedly tried to convince Messi to join him at Manchester City. However, Messi told La Sexta that though he spoke with Guardiola, he didn’t discuss reuniting with him. He went on to describe the coach as the best.
“I don’t know how long my last chat with Pep Guardiola was, but we do talk. We don’t talk about whether we are going to meet again. For me Pep is the best, he has something special”, Messi said.
It will be expensive to return Neymar to FC Barcelona
For the past two seasons, the speculation has been that Neymar who left FC Barcelona in 2018 for Paris Saint Germain for a world record, €222 million transfer fee, wishes to return to Barcelona and the Spanish club is interested in the deal.
But such a deal might not be possible due to the financial implications according to Lionel Messi. Just like other clubs across Europe, FC Barcelona are having financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. That financial difficulty might not end anytime soon and might not enable Barcelona to afford Neymar who is currently worth over 100 million euros in the transfer market.
“Neymar? Bringing Neymar back to Barça would be so expensive, it’ll be difficult to do this kind of move for the new president”, Messi added.