Lionel Messi was called a “hormonal dwarf” and a “sewer rat” by an ex-Barcelona board member according to a startling revelation.
After his contract with Barcelona expired in 2021, World Cup winner Messi switched to Paris Saint-Germain.
The contract offered to Messi, which would have given him a salary of about £500 million throughout the duration of the proposed contract, was revealed in a newspaper story, which left Barca’s management furious.
On January 31, 2021, the club’s old management is said to have communicated in a group chat, according to the Spanish publication El Periodico.
Ex-president Josep Bartomeu, CEO scar Grau, directors Pancho Schroder and Javier Sobrino, executives Jordi Moix, Oriol Tomàs, and David Bellver, and legal director Roman Gomez Ponti were all present on the group where the comments were received.
Ponti in particular sent Bartomeu a scathing mail about his preference for Messi.
He stated in his message: “Barto, really, you can’t be such a good person with this sewer rat.”
“The club has given him everything and he has dedicated himself to marking a dictatorship of signings, transfers, renewals, sponsorships just for him, etc.”
Ponti complained about Messi’s influence at the club when he demanded new contracts for teammates Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez.
Then he complained about Rodrigo, the brother and agent of Messi, receiving the contract renewal fee for Ansu Fati.
Ponti continued by discussing “blackmail” and Messi’s lack of assistance as the Covid-19 outbreak broke out.
He then added: “And above all the accumulation of blackmail and rudeness that the club and those who work have suffered from this hormonal dwarf that owes Barça life … ah!”
“But when they come badly given (pandemic) you receive the mythical WhatsApp: ‘presi, lower the salary to others, but do not touch me and Luis.”
Ponti then criticized Messi, calling him a “pesetero,” or money-grabber.
Messi finally left the team due to financial issues, as Barcelona was unable to reduce their compensation structure sufficiently to take on the 35-year-old.
These issues have persisted, and latest estimates indicate that they are still £178 million over budget in wages, despite a summer in which they pulled a variety of “economic levers” to aid in their operations.
Why did Lionel Messi Leave Barcelona?
On August 4, 2021, during a friendly match between FC Salzburg and Barcelona in Austria, American international Brenden Aaronson scored a shock winner for FC Salzburg.
Barca president Joan Laporta was using his phone at the time, and his activity informed the other members of the club’s traveling delegation of the problem.
Less than a day later, the Catalan club made the shocking football statement that revealed the reason behind Laporta’s frantic calls: Lionel Messi was leaving.
Messi spent 20 years with Barcelona after moving from Argentina when he was just a teenager. He was 34 at the time.
He established himself as the club’s all-time appearance and leading scorer during that span, tallying 672 goals in 778 games.
He won 11 LaLiga championships, four Champions League championships, and six times was crowned the world’s best player (and for a seventh time since leaving.) Messi playing for another club was unfathomable, as was Barcelona without him.
Because Barca was in debt by €1.35 billion as a result of years of excessive spending and the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to offer Messi a new contract and were forced to let him join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
Since then, both his new club in France and his old club in Spain have been significantly impacted by the transfer, and Messi’s status beyond the 2022–23 season also appears to be more uncertain than ever.
The option to extend his PSG contract for another season is available as the current contract is scheduled to end on June 30, 2023.