Barcelona’s infatuation with Lionel Messi has been underlined after president Joan Laporta raised the compelling idea that the Argentina great could return to end his career with the club.
It is coming up to 12 months since Messi tearfully departed and joined Paris Saint-Germain, breaking a 21-year association with a struggling Barca who could not afford to keep him.
The forward won every trophy available with the Catalan giants and departed as the club’s record scorer with 672 goals from 778 appearances.
To give that some context, Cesar Rodriguez is next on the goalscoring list, who scored 232 goals for Barcelona.
Laporta spoke in New York on Thursday evening as Barcelona’s US tour neared.
And addressed the prospect of Messi one day resuming his career with the Blaugrana.
“Leo’s phase did not end as we all wanted. Instead, it ended up very conditioned by economic issues.
“We owe him a moral debt in this regard. We want the end of his career to be with the Barca shirt and being applauded in all stadiums.
“This is an aspiration. There is nothing spoken. I feel jointly responsible for this ending.
“Although, I think it is a provisional end. I think we will make this aspiration a reality.”
Barca’s financial situation in August 2021 meant they could not agree on new terms that adhered to LaLiga’s salary cap rules.
Messi has another year to run on his PSG deal, which will take him to 36.
Though that contract also contains the option of a third season in Paris.
Laporta might be pushing the right buttons for those who dream of a Messi comeback in LaLiga.
His ambitions may not be realistic, however. Barcelona has sold off a proportion of future TV rights revenue to bolster their financial resources, allowing them to embark on a signing spree ahead of the new LaLiga season.
They are suddenly moving in a positive direction again, and Laporta will look to make it sustainable.
Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.