Departure of Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona: thunderclap or ultimate poker blow?

After more than twenty years in Catalonia, the player will not sign a contract extension said the Spanish club this Thursday evening.

A warhead in the Catalan sky: Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona, ​​it’s over. At least according to a statement from the club, published this Thursday in the early evening: “Despite an agreement between FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalize due to economic and structural obstacles, relating to the regulations of the Spanish League ”, affirms the club blaugrana.

The context: at the end of his contract this summer with his long-standing club, the Argentine striker was negotiating a downward extension, he who received a pharaonic sum each season – according to the sources and the smoothing of the various bonuses that Messi and his entourage negotiated with each new initial – between 31 and 100 million euros.

Almost divine aura Context always: officially showing a debt of 1, 173 billion euros at the end of the season 2019 – 2020, the club had been imposed a salary cap of 160 millions of euros per year by the Spanish Professional League, i.e. a drastic regime, since this wage bill e was 173 million euros last season. The drafting of the press release therefore draws the intransigence of La Liga, guilty according to the club of indirectly pushing Messi to other horizons: “Faced with this situation, Lionel Messi will not stay linked to FC Barcelona. Both sides deeply regret that in the end the wishes of the player and the club cannot be granted. ”

Since a few months, Messi had agreed to renegotiate downward. However, the amounts did not leak, which hinted at a line of tension between the club and the player, especially as some sources had echoed a spread of his salary over time, allowing him eventually recover all or part of the sacrifice (possibly) made for the season 2020 – 2022. Second possible interpretation therefore: the club did not agree with the player for the coming season and puts this failure on the back of La Liga rather than that of a Messi with an almost divine aura among the club supporters around the world.

Third blade: by blaming the failure of negotiations on La Liga and the salary cap imposed by its president, Javier Tebas, Barça would put pressure to force the latter to relax its brazen doxa. Which would then make it possible to validate the new contract and avoid the rupture between Messi and a club he joined as a teenager to hoist him to the heights that we know. So, maybe we are still far from the end of the film.

Like the end of an era? Especially since another element, and not the least, complicates the equation: the huge contract that the Spanish League has made with CVC Partners on Wednesday, ceding 01% of its capital to the Luxembourg investment fund and the control of its audiovisual rights for half a century against 2.4 billion euros to be divided between the forty-two Spanish professional clubs.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are opposed to the deal, seeing it as a misappropriation of its assets for the benefit of the Pro League and CVC Partners in addition to a maneuver, the bad tongues will say, preventing them from joining before long the European Super League closed stillborn in early spring, but to which the two clubs have never officially turned their backs. Therefore, Messi would be a collateral victim and a media toy – it’s your fault, no it’s yours – at the hands of La Liga and FC Barcelona.

This one having however officially communicated on the departure of the player, it must however be considered. Like the end of an era, when the greatest player of his time conspired to hoist one of the greatest collectives ever seen (Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Pique…) on the roof of Europe. However, we are not quite there yet.

Updated: August 5 at 21 h 25.

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