Barcelona crisis puts Messi in undesirable situation; is it worth re-signing for?

For the kind of authority he commands, Lionel Messi still unattached to a club as of August 1, 2021, is beyond bizarre. Well, that’s the reality for the Argentine superstar whose contract expired at Barcelona on July 1.

Barcelona crisis puts Messi in undesirable situation; is it worth re-signing for?

It is reported that Messi will re-sign with Barcelona for five years. He will also be taking a 50% wage cut due to the club’s financial crisis and La Liga’s strict rules on player registration that requires a club’s wage bill to be at a particular threshold.

Barcelona’s wage bill is currently over bloated and it needs to be aggressively downsized if Messi is to be registered in time for the new season which commences on August 13.

He will also not return to preseason training until the deal is finalised, meaning he will remain on holiday since winning the Copa America with Argentina three weeks ago.

It begs the question, it is really worth Messi getting to sign for Barcelona again?

Here’s a club in debt to the tune of a jaw-dropping €1.2 billion. They do not have adequate funds to buy players this summer and have thus resorted to acquiring free agents in Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.

Barca need to offload some of their biggest earners which include Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, to stand any chance of resigning Messi. Getting rid of these players is proving to be a real headache.

Even if Barcelona succeeds in reducing the wage bill to resign and register Messi, it does not mean all will be back and smooth.

The Catalan giants have been struggling for success in recent seasons and have been failed to winning the Champions League since 2015, something Messi greatly desires to lift again for the fifth time.

The club has also had the problem of its recruits not gelling into the squad thus causing more heartache. It was no surprise when Messi declared his intentions to quit the club last summer only to reverse it and see out his contract.

Though one of the reasons Messi stayed on was because erstwhile club president Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down while another former president in Joan Laporta who oversaw the club success under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola, came back.

It might be good news for Messi but it is no guarantee that Laporta will fix Barcelona’s problems in the interim and this is where Messi could be frustrated all over again.

Barcelona’s problems won’t go away in one swoop and it will take time before the books are balanced and the right players are there. Ronald Koeman is the current boss, but there’s no indication he will bring the success of old.

Maybe there’s still time for Messi to think about re-signing for Barcelona. It’s been 16 successful years at the Camp Nou but maybe this is the time to move on. Yes, it’s a special bond between Barcelona and Messi, but it must end one day. The earlier Barcelona can transition from living without Messi, the better for the days ahead.

It will not hurt Messi to experience life at another club, win new titles, experience a new culture and environment.

Staying back at Barcelona could be a costly mistake for Messi if the desired success doesn’t follow.

Barca have been blamed for not doing enough for Messi in the past and he really doesn’t have to go through such again.

Whatever happens, it’s Messi’s choice and his alone to live with the outcome, good or bad.

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Kunle is an avid writer with interest in topics on sports, politics and health. His articles have featured in Goal.com, Opera News and Vanguard News. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in International Relations and is an advocate for people living with Hydrocephalus and other neurological conditions.

Follow him on Twitter: @kfayiga

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