Argentinian football star, Lionel Messi has spent all his career with Barcelona. He was signed as a teenager from the Rosario-based club Newell’s Old Boys in 2001, then quickly progressed through Barca’s ranks until he joined the club’s first team in 2004.
Since then, he became a pivotal player for the team: he won six Ballon D’Or awards, scored more than 700 goals (442 in La Liga, an absolute record for the league), and won La Liga ten times with the team.
But Messi’s time at Camp Nou could be slowly coming to an end. He has been renegotiating his contract with Barca since earlier this year, but the negotiations haven’t yielded expected results.
Dailymail reports that Barce’s number 10 has been stalling on the new contract offered to him by the club, and this has made rumours of his plan to leave the club come to life.
Barcelona without Messi
When you take a look at the Betway soccer betting odds, what you see is the result of a series of data-backed predictions that take into account everything from the quality of the turf on the playfield to the physical fitness of each player.
What you’ll probably see at Betway once Messi leaves Barca is a sudden drop in their chances to win: the Argentinian player was – and still is – an important addition to the team. And the odds will continue to be against them until they find a replacement for the football star.
Messi has suffered several attacks on social media, blaming him for pretty much every problem Barcelona had recently. He was accused of pushing for the transfer of Antoine Griezmann last year, and for his weak performance in the field that left so many users scratching their heads.
He was accused of being behind the sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde. And he was accused of being to blame for the weak performance of the team lately, leading to Barca’s loss of the La Liga title to Real Madrid this year.
According to a report by the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Barcelona’s captain became disillusioned entirely of the team, and so he decided to leave at the end of the coming season – and possibly even retire.
Who will replace him?
Messi is a football legend with performances that will be extremely hard to match, no matter who Barcelona signs in his place. Still, there are a few players who may fill his shoes that Barca may try to sign in the coming year.
One of the first names to come to mind is Neymar, the player Barca is reportedly negotiating to sign this year. The problem is, Paris Saint Germain has a pretty hefty asking price. Barca reportedly offered an exchange: PSG could pick three players among Philippe Coutinho, Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti, and Ousmane Dembelé – but PSG only wanted to sign Dembelé, asking for more than $90 million on top of the French forward.
Another football star who may be on Barca’s radar is Kylian Mbappé. The player is said to be willing to leave PSG in the near future but Real Madrid, Barca’s rivals, is among his preferred teams – besides, pretty much every other major European team is reportedly willing to sign him. And let’s not forget players like Diego Carlos, on the radar of many major European teams ranging from Spurs to Real Madrid.
Finding a replacement for Leo will be a true challenge.