Lionel Messi return to Barcelona good for player and club – LaLiga president Javier Tebas
LaLiga president Javier Tebas has said it would be good for both Lionel Messi and Barcelona if the Argentina captain plays for his former club again.
Messi, whose performances for Barca and Argentina won him seven Ballon d’Or awards, had to leave his all-time club after 21 years in August 2021 with the club struggling financially.
He joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent and since his departure, Barca have failed to advance from the Champions League group stages.
“I think that Messi is not only missed in La Liga, but he is also missed in football, because the French league is what it is, right?” Tebas said. “And that’s that. I think that regardless of being at PSG, he is followed much less than when he was at Barcelona. Let’s hope he has a great World Cup, because there we will all be able to see him again.”
Earlier this year, Barca president Joan Laporta described the decision not to register Messi’s contract as the “hardest he ever made” but said “he did not regret it because the club always comes first.”
Messi, meanwhile, admitted he was “hurt” by his unexpected exit from Barca having agreed a salary reduction of 50% to remain at the club.
Messi won 35 titles, including four Champions League trophies, in his 17 seasons at Barca.
Tebas hopes that rumours of Messi’s eventual return to Barcelona turn to reality.
Messi, 35, is under contract with PSG until June 2023 and has an option to extend it for a further year.
“I don’t know if Messi will have one last show at Barca, that will depend on him,” Tebas said. “Hopefully he will come back. Above all, it would also be good for him to return to Spanish football, especially to the team that was the side that saw him grow. I think it was a mistake even for him, in my opinion, to break that marriage, it was a very beneficial long-term alliance for Messi and for Barca itself.”
Despite his desire to see Messi return to LaLiga, Tebas insists the competition remains strong.
He said: “Well, I think Messi should come back before Cristiano [Ronaldo] … But they left, and we continue to be at the top level, right?”
A five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo left Spain in 2018 to join Juventus in a €100 million transfer from Real Madrid.
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