Lionel Messi: Manchester City Bound?
FC BARCELONA have been the modern equivalent of The Beatles, with just about everyone heaping praise on them, apart from sneering hipsters who don’t like anything successful, so they heap praise on Borussia Dortmund instead.
One of the happiest marriages was that between the Camp Nou outfit and Lionel Messi.
However, it looks like all is not rosy in Barcelona as the the Argentine megastar has suggested that his future lies elsewhere because, in his own words, “a lot changes in football.”
Previously, he’s always said that he intended to retire at Camp Nou, but “sometimes things don’t work out as you plan”.
Since joining the club in 2004, Messi has become arguably the best footballer of his generation (it is between him and Cristiano Ronaldo) and bagged himself six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, four Ballon d’Or awards and broken so many goalscoring records that everyone gave up counting.
He said: “Right now I live in the present. I’m thinking about having a great year and winning the titles that we want at Barcelona. And nothing more. After we will see.”
“A lot changes in football… I have always said that I would love to stay there forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as you plan. Many times I’ve said it. If it were up to me I would stay forever. But as I have said, things don’t always work out as you plan them. More so in football, where so many things change and so many things happen.”
“It’s complicated, more so right now with what is happening at Barcelona.”
So what does that mean for the various chequebooks that have just sprung open all over the footballing world? Well, you have to face certain facts before getting too carried away, mainly – who can afford him?
Paris St Germain are an obvious candidate as they’ve got staggering amounts of Middle Eastern money to play with. There’ll be clubs in Italy who will be looking at how they can lure Messi to Serie A. Bayern Munich aren’t short of a few bob either.
However, the English Premier League is the richest in the world, and you can imagine a host of clubs throwing money at Barcelona. Manchester United have been spending money like it is going out of fashion, and you suspect that Old Trafford will talk up the culture and Man Utd’s heritage while making eyes at Lionel.
Of course, the two clubs with the most money to wildly throw around are Chelsea and Manchester City. You can see both clubs making offers that Messi won’t want to refuse, so it’ll come down to whether or not Messi wants to live in London and work for Jose Mourinho, or whether Sergio Aguero can convince Messi that Eastlands is the place to be.
Arsenal too have been a little more ready with the bank details recently, and surely it wouldn’t take Arsene Wenger long to point out to the boardroom that signing Lionel Messi is a business transaction that’ll probably pay for itself in shirt sales alone.
The unthinkable is Messi going to play for Real Madrid, even though there’s a host of players who have turned out for both sides, including Luis Figo and Michael Laudrup. However, you can’t imagine Messi wanting to sour the relationship with the club that helped to make him into one of football’s true greats.
So which is then? The Premier League has the revenue to land Lionel Messi. Can you imagine him scampering around at Stoke? Can you imagine seeing Lionel on the League Cup highlights being man-marked by 6 Crewe Alex players?
Mouthwatering. Someone make it happen. Anorak will chip-in if needed.