Barcelona will select a brand new coach within the coming days, and it might have a brand new president subsequent yr.
The membership can also be promising “wide-ranging” and “profound” structural modifications after certainly one of its most humiliating defeats ever — the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Friday.
The one large query that is still is whether or not it is going to be in a position to hold Lionel Messi.
The crew’s largest star for greater than a decade has a contract with Barcelona till 2021, however he hasn’t been hiding his dissatisfaction with the membership.
Messi has been extra outspoken than ever this season, speaking concerning the crew’s issues and pointing to poor choices by membership administrators. Though he has by no means actually hinted about leaving, his latest actions have raised doubts about his future.
“Soccer is a recreation that comes and goes in a short time in your life, so this subsequent two years, the place he’s nonetheless going to have the ability to affect video games the way in which he does, is he going to wish to be doing that probably not competing for the massive titles? I don’t know,” former participant Rio Ferdinand stated.
Spanish media has reported that negotiations to increase Messi’s contract past subsequent June have been on maintain for the reason that issues on the membership escalated. One Brazilian outlet, Esporte Interativo, stated Messi truly desires to go away now as a substitute of ready till subsequent yr.
Rumors of golf equipment eager to signal Messi began to floor instantly after the crew’s loss to Bayern, with Pep Guardiola-coached Manchester Metropolis reportedly among the many front-runners.
Many suppose the humiliation towards Bayern could have been the tipping level for the Argentina nice. Messi appeared like he had already given up at halftime, when photos confirmed him sitting at one finish of the bench trying down and biting his nails whereas ready to return on the sphere.
Messi and his teammates needed to face livid Barcelona followers who confronted them and criticized the crew on the membership’s coaching heart after the squad returned from Portugal.
Messi has been unusually quiet for the reason that loss in Lisbon and hasn’t made any public statements, in contrast to after the crew misplaced the Spanish league title to Actual Madrid a couple of weeks in the past and he got here out to overtly discuss to the media.
Earlier this season, Messi criticized Barcelona administrators for a few of their choices. He was particularly upset with sports activities director Eric Abidal after he criticized gamers’ efforts amid a collection of poor outcomes. He had additionally stated that he didn’t suppose Barcelona would succeed within the Champions League the way in which issues have been on the membership.
The membership can also be dealing with a tough monetary scenario due to the coronavirus pandemic, which may make it tougher to barter with Messi. Nonetheless, Bacelona president Josep Bartomeu has at all times stated he expects Messi to complete his profession on the membership, and that Messi desires the identical.
The results of subsequent yr’s presidential elections will seemingly play an important function in Messi’s resolution, and it’ll even be vital whether or not he’s proud of the work of the crew’s new coach.
The 33-year-old Messi is among the many ageing gamers throughout the squad, together with Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Jordi Alba. The children touted as promising stars embrace Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig, although it is too early to understand how a lot they’ll be capable of contribute to the primary crew sooner or later.
After the membership introduced “profound modifications to the primary crew,” many are questioning what which means for Messi.
Battle towards Coronavirus: Full protection