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Barca director admits club could have kept Messi

Barca director of football opens up about Messi's exit, admits club could have kept Leo

February 12, 2022 By Ali M.
The Blaugrana executive revealed that they had the opportunity to re-sign La Pulga but opted against exercising it.

Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany opened up about Lionel Messi's controversial exit from the club, with the Catalan executive admitting what many already suspected to be true: the Spanish giants had the opportunity to keep La Pulga at the Camp Nou.

The Argentine icon grabbed the headlines over the summer after bidding an emotional farewell to his boyhood club. After spending 21 years in Catalonia, playing in 778 games and scoring a mouthwatering 672 goals, he was forced to leave for free due to Barcelona's financial crisis.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's contract had expired and the club were unable to re-register him due to La Liga's financial regulation despite the attacker accepting a drastic wage reduction. As a result, president Joan Laporta, who made sure to thank the diminutive forward for all he has done, argued that they did everything within their power to keep the South American at the Camp Nou.

However, speculations soon emerged claiming that this was not the truth. Barcelona did have the opportunity to keep Leo in Spain but chose not to exercise it. Alemany has now revealed this to be true, admitting that there was a commercial deal on the Blaugrana's table that would have permitted them to resign Messi. The board opted against joining the aforementioned agreement, instead prioritizing the institution's wellbeing over the individual.

"Unfortunately, Messi's departure was not a surprise," Alemany told Marca.

"It was the reality of the moment. The only way for him to stay was for Barça to join something that we did not want to join. 

"We decided that the club was above any other person. We've lost a lot commercially."

While the director of football did not name the deal he was referring to, all fingers point to La Liga's CVC offer. That deal was worth a reported US$3.04 billion, with over $300M being promised to Barcelona. However, the club argued that the aforementioned arrangement would have handed over 10 percent of the team's media rights income to CVC for 50 years, hence the rejection.

As a result, Messi ended up leaving, with the Argentine struggling to maintain his high standards with new club PSG. As for the Spanish giants, they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stage and are now preparing to take on Napoli this Thursday in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage. 

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