The president of Argentina Alberto Fernandez wants his countryman Lionel Messi to return to the country to play at his childhood club Newell’s Old Boys.
The Argentine international started developing his football talent at the Argentine club between 1994 and 2000. He left the club when he was 13-year-old to join the Barcelona youth team. Since then, the 33-year-old 6 times Ballon d’Or winner has been playing for the Spanish giants and only play in Argentina during international engagements.
Meanwhile, since Friday 14th August 2020 when Messi led Barcelona to suffer their worst defeat in a Champions League match in the hands of Bayern Munich, his love for the Spanish club has drastically reduced. The 8-2 defeat coupled with the fact that the Spanish club ended the 2019-2020 season without a trophy became so overwhelming for Messi that he desires to abandon his contract for another club.
He told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club officially on Monday, 17 August 2020. Since then, there have been endless back and forth between Messi and Barcelona. The Argentine football icon wants to leave the club for free while the Spanish club would not let him go until his suitor pays the €700 million release clause on his contract which would expire in June 2021.
If he should be allowed to leave the club for free, his most likely destination would be Manchester City. But the president of his country wants him to play in Argentina just like how the legendary Diego Maradona did at the tail end of his career.
Hence, to push him to make such a decision, President Alberto Fernandez told a TV channel in Argentina, C5N, that Messi is in the hearts of the people of Argentina. And he noted how they have never seen him play in a football club in the country.
“Give us the pleasure of ending your career with Newell’s Old Boys, your club”, the President added.
President Alberto Fernandez Compares Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona
The Argentine president used the media chat to air his opinion on who is better between the Legendary Diego Maradona and the iconic Lionel Messi. The 61-year-old president who became the leader of the country in 2019, argued that he prefers Maradona to Messi. According to him, Maradona played alone against the world and he has never seen a player like the retired football superstar.
“I admire him deeply – more than Messi, to be honest, because he comes from the Argentinos’ youth. He was a kind of gladiator, with incredible strength”, the President added.
Manchester City’s plans for Messi
On the other hand, the latest reports from Lionel Messi’s saga say Manchester City are planning a bumper deal for the Argentine football icon if he is able to leave Barcelona for free.
According to ESPN, Manchester City are planning to table a 5-year deal for Messi which would see him play for the Premier League club for three years and play the remaining two years at a Major League Soccer club New York City FC which is affiliated with Manchester City.
The reported deal is worth a whopping €500 million according to ESPN which would see Messi earn at least €100 million every year throughout the five-year deal. The deal could increase to 750 million euro prior to the 2023-2024 season when Messi moves to MLS.
This would be so because New York City would have to pay Messi €250 million which should have been paid to him by Manchester City if he joins them for free. But Man City would not pay such an amount now in order not to breach UEFA financial fair play rules.
All these are still speculations which can only materialize if the president of Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu allows Messi to leave the club for free this summer.