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Barcelona’s decision to walk away from Lionel Messi renewal was not for financial reasons alone

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Speaking during an interview with Cadena SER, Catalan media mogul Jaume Roures, who was a backer of Joan Laporta’s FC Barcelona presidential election campaign, has made a startling revelation about the exit of Lionel Messi.

Roures, the former CEO of MediaPro, funded Laporta’s election campaign and is also an investor in the Barça Studios project.

The media mogul has now spoken out on how Messi’s exit from Barcelona came about in 2021, suggesting that there was more to his departure than just economic reasons.

What happened?

Messi left Barcelona in 2021 after his contract expired. It came as a huge shock for the footballing world, considering that Laporta & co. had constantly been claiming that his contract renewal was on track.

However, in the last minute, it was decided that renewing Messi would not be possible within La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations and Laporta and his administration decided not to go ahead with an extension, prompting the club legend to join PSG for free.

Roures claimed that a series of meetings took place between Laporta and Javier Tebas in which the renewal of Messi’s contract with Barcelona was discussed.

Following these meetings, in which Roures was also present, everything pointed to the fact that the Argentine was going to renew his contract for several more seasons.

“They were discussing whether to wait for Messi to return from holiday in Miami or whether to take someone there to sign the contract,” recalled Roures, suggesting that everything was in place for him to renew.

Lionel Messi
Messi bid a teary goodbye to Barcelona in 2021. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

What changed?

However, the deal fell through at the last minute for various reasons, which were not only economic, claimed Roures.

“Economic and personal reasons came together and I wouldn’t put my hand in the fire to tell you which was more important of the two. But, in any case, it seems to me that there were not only economic reasons,” he said.

When asked about the ‘personal reasons’ that caused Messi’s exit, Roures claimed that the Argentine’s camp was asking the club to sign new players and strengthen the squad as they felt the team was not ready for titles, which Barça perceived as pressure tactics.

“They told Barça that they had to sign him and there were people who read that badly. They read it as a misplaced pressure and that clash that ended up favouring the exit due to sporting demands and the signings,” he said.

“When Messi flew from Ibiza to Barcelona, he came back convinced that he was signing,” Roures added, only for the whole scenario to flip completely and the Argentine ended up being forced out.

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