The summer’s biggest soap opera has ended with autumn’s arrival, as Lionel Messi is staying at Barcelona.
The Argentine spoke about the entire process that has brought his and the club’s relationship to this point and identified one clear enemy: Josep Maria Bartomeu.
So for one more season, at least, Messi will continue to lead Barcelona and that will come with consequences.
As COVID-19 has huge impacts on cubs’ accounts, the club will have to accept that they’ll spend at least 100 million euros as a result of Messi.
That’s how much they’ll fork out on his salary, while no transfer fee will arrive for him.
Potential signings like Lautaro Martinez, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay now appear more unlikely than before.
Messi is staying, but he’s taking shots at those above him at the club.
“The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time,” he told Goal.com.
“They juggle and cover holes as things go by”.
The relationship between Bartomeu couldn’t have been more damaged and there will undoubtedly be a lot of people looking forward to the March elections.
The various chapters to have unfolded over the last few weeks have left the supporters torn as well.
Messi’s critics have increased in their number of late, and bad performances could now prompt a reaction that he’s never had to deal with before.
Messi might not be as untouchable as he has been.
Dressing room atmosphere
The captain is staying, but it’s likely that some of his teammates and best friends will leave.
All eyes are now on Luis Suarez, who looks likely to leave soon, while Arturo Vidal is another Messi ally who looks certain to be on the way out.
Only Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets are expected to stay on.
As for the coach, Ronald Koeman’s strong character was known before he took the job and he wasted no time in showing it, even to Messi himself.
The relationship between the coach and his No.10 will be key to deciding how the 2020/21 season unfolds.