Newell’s Old Boys supporters are doing everything they can to ambitiously persuade wantaway Barcelona star Lionel Messi to return to the club.
Messi sent shockwaves throughout football on Tuesday after informing Spanish giants Barcelona, via fax, that he wants to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.
Manchester City have since sensationally emerged as front-runners for his signature but Newell’s fans’ certainly haven’t given up hope of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner coming back to his boyhood club – where he spent his youth between 1994 to 2000.
The club’s supporters flocked to the streets of Rosario in their numbers to put on a colourful parade in their bid to tempt Messi back to Argentina.
‘Your dream, our desire’, was a recurring slogan spotted as the supporters let off red and black flares and proudly waved the club’s flag aloft while donning multiple forms of Messi merchandise during what was an electric atmosphere.
Messi came through the youth ranks at Newell’s Old Boys between the years of 1994 to 2000 before eventually making the move to Barcelona a year later, where his career incredibly took off.
During his time at the Nou Camp, Messi has scored an astonishing 634 goals and created 285 assists in 731 appearances for the Spanish giants.
But he has now remarkably decided it’s time for a fresh challenge after growing increasingly frustrated with the Barcelona hierarchy.
Right now it appears very unlikely that Messi would return to Rosario and the club’s head of their English supporters club, Jamie Ralph, admitted that is the case.
‘Personally I think it’s a bit too soon, but what people need to understand is that Newell’s have a bit of a track record of pulling flagship signings out of nowhere, and that’s why people think it’s not that impossible,’ Ralph said.
‘Diego Maradona was at Sevilla in Spain – he was only 33, so he was the same age as Messi – and he came back and signed for Newell’s, which was unbelievable at the time. This was the year before the ’94 World Cup.
‘There’s this real feeling that for players who come through the club, money doesn’t matter, it’s really the feeling to come back and play for their shirt again in front of the fans and really feel that you’re part of that club again.
‘There’s a bit of romanticism going on. I do think Messi will play for Newell’s one day, but personally think it’s a little bit too soon.’
Meanwhile, Newell’s vice-president Cristian D’Amico recently expressed his hope that Messi will one day don the club’s colours again.
‘I don’t know if it is impossible. It is all up to him and his family,’ D’Amico told TNT Sports.
‘As directors we have to provide the best context possible to help him make a decision. When Maradona came to Newell’s nobody thought he could come. I hope that something similar can happen with Leo.
‘Obviously we shouldn’t be making things up, this is a delicate subject. What Newell’s doesn’t dream of seeing the world’s best player in their team’s colours? Time will tell maybe, we have to stay calm.’