Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that it was a mistake for the Blaugrana to let Lionel Messi leave in the summer.
In an interview with Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Josep Maria has spoken on a multitude of topics including the inevitable discussion on Lionel Messi. And the former Barcelona president has claimed that it was a mistake for the Catalan club to let their ex-captain depart in the summer transfer window.
It is a news that is still considered unbelievable by many. After all, very few would have envisioned Lionel Messi playing for a club other than Barcelona while still evidently being among the best players in the world. However, what was dreaded the most did happen this past summer.
Barcelona’s dreadful financial state forced them to let go of Messi, as they were unable to renew terms with him even after reaching an agreement on a fresh contract, complete with a pay cut. The Argentine wizard eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain, where he has created another formidable attacking trio alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Now, though, Josep Maria Bartomeu has had his say on the departure of Messi, claiming that it was a mistake by Barcelona to not keep hold of their former captain. The ex-Barcelona president added that Messi represented more than just a footballer for Barcelona, which is why they should not have let him go.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Bartomeu said, “They ask someone who in the summer of 2020 struggled not to leave. I have always thought that it is essential that he be with us not only because he is the best in the world but also because of his financial and institutional contribution. It is a mistake to let Messi go. It represents much more than a footballer that falls in love.”
Recently, Messi also opened up about leaving Barcelona, claiming he was left with no choice but to make his way to PSG after news emerged that the Blaugrana would not be able to tie him down to a new contract.
Meanwhile, current president Joan Laporta recently confessed that he was hoping that Messi would say he would play for free instead of leaving, in what was a bizarre thought process. As for the player himself, it remains to be seen if he can be as influential for PSG as he was for Barcelona for years.