Messi poses at the Camp Nou with his son Thiago this Sunday, in a photo on his Instagram
Invoking the name of Lionel Messi is always profitable. It works in the Argentine national team; of course, also in Barcelona. The president of the AFA, Claudio Chiqui Tapia, is guaranteed that there is a camera near him every time he meets the captain of the albiceleste. "Generate a hug and you already have the photo you need to sell your friendship with Leo," they explain from the Ezeiza campus. The formula does not change on the other side of the pond. Josep Maria Bartomeu took over the image of Messi and that of his two teammates in the Barça forward, Luis Suárez and Neymar, to win the 2015 elections. "We have a trident, we have a triplet", read the slogan of the former Barça president. In the last elections, Joan Laporta sought to make it clear who was the candidate with the best descent out of 10. "If some of the other two win, it will be more difficult for Messi to stay," stressed the Catalan lawyer. Laporta won. And now Barcelona fans are excited about a new contract for Messi. The Argentine, however, is not in a hurry.
"Messi has already congratulated me and I am convinced that he wants to stay," said Laporta , in RAC1, after winning the elections last Sunday. It is as true that the Argentine greeted the new president of Barça as he also did in 2015 when Bartomeu won the elections. At 10 it bothers him when his name appears in the political arena. Laporta knew it perfectly and, with the exception of some more bombastic phrase, he sought to be respectful with the silence of the Rosario. The times in which Messi breaks his own protocol are counted. In 2013, for example, he targeted economic vice president Javier Faus. "Mr. Faus does not know anything about football," he said after the former director claimed that it was not necessary "to review Messi's contract every six months." Three years later, in 2016, he exploded against poor organization in the Argentine team. “Once again waiting on a plane to try to get to the destination. What a disaster are those of AFA by God! ”, Protested on social networks.
Messi, in any case, was never seen as unhappy as last summer with Bartomeu. “Barça is really bad, it is very bad. The president cheated on me many times, ”said the Rosario, after the then president clung to the fact that the clause in his contract that allowed him to leave the club at the end of the 2020 season had already expired. “I had been telling the president that I wanted to go. I asked him to help me and he always said no and no. The burofax was a serious way of doing it. I knew that if I went to trial I was right, but I didn't want to go that way, "he explained in December about his conflict with Bartomeu. “Leo's problem was with Barto, not with the club. He loves Barça ”, assure those who know the Argentine player.
And so that there would be no doubts about his commitment to the club, Messi exercised, for the first time since he arrived at the club in 2001, his right as a partner of Barcelona in a few elections, this Sunday. It was not a trivial decision, nor was it to publish a photo with his eldest son, Thiago, in the stands of the Camp Nou. “Leo sees himself voting in 10 years, like Luis Enrique did. He feels the club as his own ”, say the same sources. Once his commitment to Barcelona is reaffirmed, the ball is on Laporta's roof.
's photo “The photo of Messi voting with his son is one more proof that he loves Barça. And it might mean that you want to stay at the club and that you are looking forward to a proposal. We will talk about this important issue for him and for the club. We will have a quiet conversation, "said Laporta. The new president intends to meet both with the Barça captain and with his father and representative, Jorge.
The problem is that Messi senior is in Rosario and still does not know when he will be able to travel to Barcelona. The 10th, for his part, wants to wait until the end of the season to resolve his future. His contract expires in June – from January 1 he can negotiate with another club – and he first wants to know Laporta's sports project before making a decision. Messi is comfortable with the generation of young promises that appears at the Camp Nou, but understands that it is not enough to aspire to conquer Europe. Names like those of Agüero, Haaland, Kanté and Wijnaldum, due to their experience and solvency, could seduce the Rosario. In any case, another of the unknowns to be resolved is who will be in charge of leading the project from the bench. Although Messi's relationship with Koeman is good, not everyone is convinced in the Ciudad Deportiva that the Dutchman is the ideal coach to re-found the Barça team and convince the 10 to stay, as well as to attract glittering figures to the Barça club. Laporta hopes to resolve the Argentine dispute. "With Leo I fix it in a barbecue," he said in an interview with La Vanguardia . Messi, on the other hand, at 33, does not want folklore. It is more aware of the future than the past.