For the first time in over 17 years, Lionel Messi is officially no longer a Barcelona player. As of midnight on the 30th of June 2021, the Argentine superstar’s contract is finally up, and what many fans of the club considered doomsday has finally arrived.
The aftermath of the 2019-20 season has left a sour taste in all cules’ mouths. Their beloved little magician seemed destined to end a near two-decades-long romance in the worst way possible. If it weren’t for the legal loopholes and evil machinations of Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board, Messi would have been long gone.
But after a tough choice to stay out of court against Barcelona and get into a legal war, Messi stayed and endured a strange transition season under the new manager Ronald Koeman, while Bartomeu was eventually forced into resignation and Joan Laporta assumed office in January of this year.
Since then, the second-time president brought with him a fresh sense of optimism regarding Messi’s continuity, promising that he would do everything possible to get La Pulga to renew. And he is very close to delivering on his word, as the Argentine’s renewal seems imminent.
Given Barcelona’s massive financial crisis, they are bound by Financial Fair Play (FPP) regulations. A few of the new contract’s details are yet to be structured even though it looks like Laporta has convinced Messi to stay based on his sporting project.
But trimming the budget on this scale is easier said than done. Messi is currently with the Argentine national team in Brazil for the Copa America. Considering that his renewal has not yet been announced, it will likely come after completing his international duties.
That will also give all parties some breathing space to iron out the final details of the renewal. It will also allow Messi to focus on the task at hand with La Albiceleste. One thing is almost certain, that he will continue his wonderful stint with Barcelona for at least another year or two.