Just in case you’re still wondering while European’s soccer transfer window is abuzz with frenzy and tension in equal measure, Lionel Messi, after a long, long last is leaving Barcelona. Oh Yes! You read that right. For real.
While it is as clear as daylight that Messi wants to leave Camp Nou anytime soon, the 33-year-old having reportedly turned in a written transfer request on Monday to set pulses racing and discord brewing, what is rather less clear is his next destination. It is serious enough news such that football heavyweights are already queuing in a bid to recruit him, a list not limited to just Inter Milan or Paris Saint Germain. Who doesn’t want La Pulga after all?
There is a paucity of information regarding this or what is to be expected about the development yet, but we’re not in the dark as to what a quantum-sized role the prospect of another romance with the baldy Pep could play here. And long time-pal Sergio Aguero. And the deep-pocketed Abu Dhabi United Group. And Sheikh Mansour. The list can go on.
Talking about Manchester City, and a stint in unarguably the most worshipped, glamorous league of all Europe’s top five, (eat your heart out, if you think otherwise) the Argentine’s swansong days in the game is set for a world of good, or bad. Or both. This is football we’re talking about after all.
“But I want Messi in the Premier League, and if it has to be City, OK – I’ll take that one. If someone like Messi moves, there’s only two or three clubs he can go to”, Jamie Carragher was quoted as having told Sky Sports earlier on Saturday.
“To me, it only looks like PSG or Man City he could end up at really. I want to see him in the Premier League. It would make Man City stronger but it wouldn’t make them unbeatable. Barcelona haven’t won the Champions League for a few years.”
Granted City will not become unbeatable with his arrival, but he at least pointed out that he would make them stronger. And so do I think too. The pint-sized magician already exudes that aura of invincibility, and the mere thought of him slaloming through Premier League defences, with Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in support is mouthwateringly too good to be true. Heavens! You just can’t wait for this to happen, I bet.
“I think it’s politics and power struggle. Messi is flexing his muscles. It’s probably a bit more than that, but I think that is where it will end up in the end. The idea that Barcelona will lose this player and he doesn’t finish his career there seems unbelievable to me. Does he really want to leave? Maybe.”
Seasoned ex-pro Gary Neville also had some words,
Gary Neville on Lionel Messi:
"If he were to come to the #PL, I think it would be to work with Pep. Would I want to see it? I think I would have to say yes, because the idea of watching Messi close up, something I have done over the last 10 years, really is something to behold." pic.twitter.com/lB3cXsKLyS
— Man City Report (@cityreport_) August 29, 2020
30% Off Awesemo+ NFL Annual Pass
Fantasy Football is BACK! We are launching our SIDEACTIONROGER promo so you can experience the Awesemo+ NFL Annual Pass for only $175. That’s 30% off the original cost! Use promo code SIDEACTIONROGER and get your hands on Awesemo’s NFL DFS projections, ownership projections, plus EXCLUSIVE ACCESS to our *brand new* season long and best ball fantasy football draft kit. Offer ends 8/31. Sign up today!
“If he were to come to the Premier League, I think it would be to work with Pep. Would I want to see it? I think I would have to say yes, because the idea of watching Messi close up, something I have done over the last 10 years, really is something to behold.”
“Would I want to stand in the way of every single young fan in this country having the opportunity to him at close hand when fans are back in stadiums, no I wouldn’t. But I just hope he doesn’t do very well for them!”
Wishful thinking that last line, but these were the words of another seasoned ex-pro, Gary Neville. Whether it’s politics or boardroom power in play here, Messi in the Premier League will be match-made-in-heaven like.
Now, take it from a football purist like me. Messi’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium means he will seamlessly slot into a system though tailor-made to challenge the best of the best, but had time and again lacked that extra bite and guile, so he will even look to harness the best from a group that has flattered to deceive in recent seasons.
And oh, the days of the noisy neighbours will be long gone too.