Lionel Messi is the most sought after commodity in all of sports at the moment since his comments that he would be leaving FC Barcelona. The question is with all of these teams looking to poach him off of Barcelona’s payroll, which one will he decide to be his new home in 2020. As if 2020 has not already been bad enough for football fans with delays in the season, Messi’s leaving Barcelona makes things much more complicated. Messi’s relationship with all of these clubs has been well received as he has publicly acknowledge his respect for each of them. We will examine four clubs that are in the running and why he will could end up at them or why he may want to go in a different direction.
Lionel Messi’s most likely destination (at the moment) will be Manchester City. It appears that according to outside sources Man City is the only team that can actually afford him. Let’s just leave it at this, Manchester City’s owner, Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, could afford Lionel Messi and still capture all of his team’s current payroll. Messi is going to want big money and he rightfully deserving of it. The big question remains though about him adapting to a new style of play. England is known for its rainy days and frankly in Spain Messi dealt more so with the heat. Messi will be around a team of superstars who have proven that they can compete not just in the Manchester Derby but also in the Champions League. Messi would be leaving a good situation in Barcelona but his situation in Manchester City would not be too bad either. The two keys to Manchester City’s recent successes has been Forward Sergio Aguero and Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Not to mention playing against one of England’s best players in Raheem Sterling. It would exciting to see Lionel attend Etihad Stadium as a member of this fine team. City offers him plenty of opportunity to remain as a great goal scorer and leader amongst a relatively young team.
Well, we spoiled this one earlier but the weather may play a factor in Messi’s successes in Manchester City. He may end up like Santiago Munez in the Goal! (2005). Adapting the English style of play which appears to be a very hard-nosed and anger filled diatribe for 90 minutes may not be what Messi is looking for in a team. Messi could possibly mess up the order that has already been established at City. Kevin De Bruyne appears to be the leader of this team and under his direction they have done extremely well and overcame their rival Manchester United. Where he goes Messi will be the unanimous captain it seems as he has that championship experience but it should be assumed that wherever he goes he is not simply looking to be a league champion but to win the Champions League yet again. He currently has 4 already and a fifth would only add to his resume. This may come as an issue as well with Manchester City because they have already received a two-year ban from Champions League for issues of licensing and financial fair play regulations. Manchester City may not be the best option for Messi because of this ban and Messi is not getting any younger. He is arguably in the top 2 players in the world but we should expect a decline soon.
Well, like Manchester City, there is a promise of youth with PSG. Paris has the best new-up and comer in European Football today in Kylian Mbappe. Also, it would be an excellent opportunity for him to reunite with Neymar who he worked well with at Barcelona. PSG is sure winner of Ligue 1 and in recent years have come close to winning the Champions League. Paris presents a similar situation to what Messi may have had in Barcelona which is why it should be a strong choice. Messi has also said on several occasions that he has wished to play again with Neymar but he may consider it a more friendly atmosphere due to PSG also being home to countryman Angel Di Maria. Di Maria was not brought up as a viable reason for Messi to attend PSG prior. Messi might very well be the key to PSG making another run at a Champions League title int eh near future.
Well Messi does bring about a salary issue for the owners of PSG though. Currently Kylian Mbappe is already at a salary of 17.5 million Euros and Neymar at 38.6 Million Euros. Messi’s current salary is roughly 54 million per year at the moment and adding him to the payroll may cause PSG to have to get rid of Mbappe as they cannot be seen to release Neymar anytime in the future. This would place him in a situation that he may or may not have been promised here. PSG would be ideal for his personal goals but not for his long-term goals and he will be remembered for being a league winner but not a Champions League winner here. Not to mention here, Messi would have to compete against Barcelona more so than at Manchester City. Although he may be leaving Barcelona he will still have to compete against their young guns there. PSG may not be his best option overall if money is involved.
Well for starters he would be teamed up with Cristiano Ronaldo who he has a pretty decent track record against. By having the two best players in the world on the same team Messi and Ronaldo might be able to achieve true Football domination not just in Italy but in the Champions League as the club world cup as well. Messi is a selfless player and has many options in Juventus including young Forward Paulo Dybala, a countryman of his. Messi might be the person to send Juventus over the hump and win the public over with becoming the premier European Club. Juventus may also be a legitimate option for Messi in the salary category as well because he and Ronaldo would be the highest paid on the roster and playing for the same team would make the league go nuts. Juventus may also be a possible retirement option for Messi as he can bring Juventus back before leaving it.
Unfortunately here, the promises may also be the reason not to go. In other sports All-Star teams often fail due to a variety of egos. Messi is not often viewed as a strong ego in the sport but Ronaldo is. Messi appears to be more of a team player and Ronaldo appears to be more about himself. Imagining a front with Dybala, Ronaldo, and Messi is tempting but its stretch may extend further than Juventus’s grab/ Messi could potentially have to take a pay-cut to suffice the other superstar at Juventus. Messi will most likely not end up here due to complaints that Juventus might actually be “too good” so keep dreaming.
Chelsea has always been a powerhouse in the English Premier League. They haven’t won the Premier League since 2016-2017 and the FA Cup since 2017-2018. This may seem like not such a long time but in European football if you do not win the league every year it’s a down year for you. They also have not won the Champions League since 2011-2012. Messi would be a perfect fit for this team which features notable forward Olivier Giroud, Midfielder N’Golo Kante, nd newcomer and American young gun Midfielder Christian Pulisic. Chelsea is not in need of a revamping but Messi would make a huge impact on an otherwise flawless lineup. Fortunately Chelsea is a much younger club than most of the ones in the Premier League and just recently acquired forward Timo Werner from RB Leipzig. Messi could provide a strong veteran presence to this squad of fresh faces. In addition, Messi has a positive relationship with Manager Frank Lampard and has given him much praise just as Lampard has praised him as well.
To be honest, Chelsea should be a hugely considered spot for Messi. There are really no bad obstacles to moving to South London. Messi’s challenge may be more difficult as he will simply play more of a backseat to Chelsea’s current talent and because when he arrived at Barcelona they were an already talented team. Chelsea is not at all a bad option but for Manchester City fans this may come as a shock because Messi is as of now supposedly working on a deal with them. Chelsea will need to figure out a salary expectation from Messi but you can expect it to be around 40 million GBP. Chelsea though may not be the best option for Messi. A young team may not provide the best chance at a decisive victory. Chelsea will take some work to build into a contender for a Champions League tile and Messi may not have too much longer to stay. So this may be a problem. However, for the most part their should be expected success at Chelsea for Messi.
So at the moment, we are unsure of where Messi will end up and possibly spend the remainder of his career. We are actually unsure of why he wants to leave Barcelona in the first place because his success has been timeless with the club. However, we can assure one thing, the four clubs mentioned can potentially afford Messi on their payroll but each has its issues regarding signing Messi as well. One thing is for sure. By the end of September 2020, we can confirm that Messi will be signed somewhere the question is where.