The greatest football player of all time. The man who inspired millions of people around the world. Lionel Messi has left Barcelona after 17 incredible years, the day that many football fans would never have expected. Game after game the little Argentine delivered, whether it was scoring an outrageous free-kick or running from the depths of his own half, he left fans in disbelief and his opponents standing in awe. We all know how good he is and we all at some stage couldn’t help but applaud the magician, even if it was against the team we support. But what does it mean for Barcelona and football in general?
FC Barcelona is in a crisis. The biggest kit sales, the reason tickets are purchased, the reason some people support the club is gone. Messi carries something bigger than just playing, some fans support him and not the club and they will have already jumped ship to PSG. No Barcelona fan will buy a kit with Depay or Pique on the back, especially after the news that Lionel Messi is gone, so where will the kit sales come from? The fans who spend thousands to come to Spain and watch Messi in the flesh will no longer travel, this might be the beginning of the end of FC Barcelona as we know it. The team is only getting older, Pique, Alba, Busquets, all coming towards the end, they have a wage structure that is outrageous and they can no longer afford to buy players and as a result of this, they lost Messi. They had a chance to buy younger players and build them up or simply buy players in the £20 -£40 million mark and create a solid team for the future but instead, they spent £300+ million on Dembele, Griezmann and Coutinho, which as we have seen has not worked out. For me, FC Barcelona have 2 years to sort everything or they will cease to exist. But what does it mean for football in general?
Messi is on his way to PSG. The best-attacking team in world football. The French league is over. Neymar. Mbappe and Messi running at those poor defenders, if PSG does not win the Champions League after the purchases they have made already and adding Messi to the mix then they will never win it. It does not do much for football at this current stage but it adds another team to the mix. Young football fans will never understand what it meant to watch Messi on those glorious Champions League nights when it was on ITV and football had not yet been ruined by money. His football legacy will live forever but he deserved a send-off fit for a king, 80,000 crying fans in the Camp Nou, chanting Lionel Messi one last time, we will never see another player like this. 17 years ago he made his debut and football was changed forever. The greatest of all time……
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