OPINION: Lionel Messi is NOT Leaving Barcelona

For the past day or so, I have seen many reports saying that Lionel Messi is considering leaving or hinting at leaving Barcelona next year or in the foreseeable future. I have to be honest, I haven’t read any of these articles because I know it’s not going to happen. Lionel Messi is staying at Barcelona whether he likes it or not.

First, let’s get the biggest reason he’s not leaving out of the way. Messi isn’t leaving Barcelona because the market isn’t there for anyone to take him. Who on earth can afford to pay Lionel Messi’s record transfer fee? There’s really only five teams who can possibly even attempt to pull it off. Those teams are Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City. Real Madrid is already out because I doubt Messi would want to play there and Barcelona wouldn’t sell him there unless Real way overpaid. Bayern Munich is limited to Bundesliga rules so while it’s not impossible for Bayern to get Messi, it would be extremely difficult. Manchester City and PSG have already had UEFA Financial Fair Play sanctions put on them and this wouldn’t help them escape that. That leaves Chelsea and I can’t believe they would go for Messi anyway. Chelsea has a great thing going and are actually turning a profit. I don’t think they would want to rock the boat even with getting Messi. Messi can always not sign and leave when his contract ends in 2018 but I’m sure Barcelona would do all they can to make sure he doesn’t leave on a free.

The other reason Messi isn’t leaving Barcelona is because he’s in the perfect situation at Barcelona. He spent most of his life at Barcelona, starting as a youth player and is still there at 27. He’s winning every trophy in sight and enjoying vast riches. Who would ever want to leave? I would understand if Messi was bored and wanted to try something new like his former manager, Pep Guardiola. I just can’t see that happening though.

Lionel Messi is only going to leave Barcelona if Barcelona allows it to happen and sells him. Unless Barcelona is willing to take less money than the widely reported $314 million release clause, nothing is going to happen. For that kind of money, a lot of give and take needs to occur for a move to be finalized and that’s just not going to happen. The board at Barcelona is just going to have to live with keeping Lionel Messi for the foreseeable future. I wish I had that problem for my favorite team.


About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp