BEVERLY HILLS, February 01, (THEWILL) – After the Sunday media storm that placed La Liga giants FC Barcelona football club in the klieg lights of the sporting press on Sunday due to the leak of their huge four-year contract payout with their standout player Lionel Messi, Barcelona was quickly on the defensive to the point of threatening legal action against the leak.
However, they were not alone in that defence. From the highest office of Spanish football came the voice of support for a club on the brink. La Liga’s President Javier Tebas joined the discussion by backing Barcelona in insisting that the club’s financial situation is due to the coronavirus pandemic and not Lionel Messi or the player’s contract.
The furore began after well-read Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported on Sunday that the deal superstar captain Messi signed in 2017, which is due to expire this season, is worth more than €555million over four years with some inclusive juicy add-ons.
The leak only added more speculation and noise to the circumstances surrounding the decision of the Argentine maestro to leave Camp Nou prior to the 2020-21 campaign. It was not the best of times for such information to become public fodder which only fomented excessive debates among fans online about the financial woes the club was enduring as a fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.
These were all in the mind of Tebas when he posted his reaction to the social media platform, Twitter: “Barcelona’s delicate financial situation [like other big clubs] is not Messi’s fault but the devastating effect of COVID.
“Without the pandemic, the income generated by the best player in history would prop up that expenditure.
“The sensationalism that surrounds the matter is unfair.”
The man at the centre of the storm, Messi, whose contract expires at the end of this season, has been heavily linked with two clubs that have shown interest in investing the kind of money that will acquire his services: Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League giants Manchester City.
If no new contract comes from Barca, the next season could see one of the most iconic La Blaugrana constants take on the colours of another club next season. The player who scored his 650th Barca goal in Sunday’s 2-1 LaLiga victory against Athletic Bilbao, may be moving to another city after a lifetime of record-setting and record-smashing at the Catalan club.
Before, then, Messi put all the noise aside and went to business against the side that won the Spanish Super Cup at their expense and got him sent off for his first ever Barca red card. The six-time Ballon d’Or opened the scoring with a 20th-minute free-kick before Jordi Alba’s own goal restored parity, though Griezmann secured maximum points in the 74th minute.
Messi, who is rediscovering different aspects of his genius by the day this season, such as a return to free-kick goals, has 12 goals and two assists in the league for Barca and has helped bring them back to reckoning with a joint-second place position in the league standings but still 10 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.