Lionel Messi is reportedly ready to leave Spanish La Liga side, Barcelona, in 2021, when his current contract with the club expires. The Argentine football icon has been with the Spanish club since he was 13 and has won everything in club football with them but reports are saying that all is not well between him and the club’s management. The question now is, where else would he want to play?
Messi is arguably the best footballer in the world who can single-handedly win games for his team through his unmatchable skills, body movement, pace, and stamina. Though he is now 33-year-old, those attributes that won him 6 Ballon d’Or and other numerous individual awards are still in him.
Hence, no top club in the world that would not like the idea of having a player like Messi in their squad, not just for the goals and the assists that he can bring to the table, but also for the attention and the commercial value that would come with him.
Despite the fact that his club is struggling to overthrown Real Madrid on the league table, Messi is still scoring the goals and making the assists as usual. This season alone, he has scored 27 goals and has made 22 assists in 37 appearances for Barcelona.
The two most likely clubs for Lionel Messi
Former Brazilian international and former Barcelona striker, Rivaldo, has suggested that Lionel Messi has two clubs that would likely sign him if he decides to leave Barcelona in 2021. The Brazilian legend says Lionel Messi could be tempted to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since they enjoyed a cordial relationship when the Spanish tactician was managing Barcelona.
He also suggested that Italian Serie A giants, Juventus and their sponsors could be tempted to bring Lionel Messi to Juventus in order to unite him with his rival Cristiano Ronaldo. The current contract of the 35-year-old Portuguese forward would also expire in 2021 but he might not hesitate to extend his contract with Juventus to see how the experiment of playing alongside his rival would go.
If such a dream comes true, it would see a record of two career rivals playing side by side. It would see a record of two players that have been dominating world football in the last 11 years fussed into one system. It would also give birth to a record where a club has two players that have 11 Ballon d’Or between them.
“With all this speculation, I believe that some agents are already dreaming about a Messi-Ronaldo double at Juventus and how big it will be around the globe,” Rivaldo said.
“If that happened there would be a world ‘boom’, and I believe Juventus would quickly recover any investment on the Argentinian thanks to the boost they would get from visibility and marketing.
“It would be historical to see both playing together and I’m sure many Juve sponsors would love to help financially, so, it’s also a possibility for Messi.
“If there are rumours about his exit, then, of course, every club will be thinking about how they can sign him. That said, the two best players in the world for the past 10 years playing at the same club would be massive.”
Besides Juventus and Manchester City, a club like French Ligue 1 side, Paris Saint Germain, may not mind bringing Messi to France especially with the continuous speculations that Neymar may leave PSG for Barcelona anytime soon. The French champions may even be tempted to strike a swap deal involving Neymar and Messi before the expiration of Messi’s contract.