The Lionel Messi story at Barcelona has been a story-line that always gives without fail. Starting right from his hat-trick against Real Madrid at the age of 19, the Argentine has never failed to live up to the expectations he set for himself. However, it seems like his character arc at Barcelona may be coming to an end.
After the overly-stretched transfer saga last summer, Messi failed to leave the club as Josep Bartomeu forced him to stay as a prisoner. For a club in transition, that was always going to be the starting point of yet another downhill challenge. And the prospect of yet another season where Messi was constantly let down. That was proven true against PSG as the Paris outfit slandered Barça 4-1 at home.
With the exit from the UCL in the Round of 16 quite likely, it seems like this might be the last ever game Messi has played for Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Champions League. And a certain club legend, Rivaldo concurs in conversation with Betfair: “Lionel Messi played his last Champions League match at the Camp Nou. He will be travelling to France (PSG) in the summer.”
He goes on to say that the game will help the six-time Ballon d’Or winner make his final decision, which is bound to turn out to be a move to Paris: “Messi’s future is in France, especially after what happened in the game. PSG can give him the opportunity to continue winning titles.”
That said, Rivaldo does confess that he would like Messi to stay at Barcelona despite all the troubles, saying, “I want Messi to stay at Barcelona but I understand why he’d want to leave at the moment when the club is not guaranteeing him good chances of fighting for important titles regularly.”
The Brazilian also thinks that Luis Suarez’s move away from the Blaugrana should have been the final nail in the coffin for Messi, but it seems that the inevitable transfer will happen a season too late: “He can’t keep taking responsibility for the team on his own. Last summer, he saw Luis Suárez leave in an incomprehensible transfer that has made Atletico Madrid stronger. I believe he will leave the club at the end of season.”
Finally, to sum his reasoning behind the opinion, Rivaldo says, “Barcelona cannot give Messi hope of fighting for any important title.”