Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona was one of football’s most shocking stories. The Argentine ace was on the verge of signing a new deal with the Catalans and there appeared to complete agreement between the parties to work together.
Then, all of a sudden, Barcelona’s history changed overnight. The club captain was gone in a matter of hours and no explanation could do justice to the talisman’s sudden departure that new president Joan Laporta had overseen.
Less than two years after that fateful night, reports suggest that Messi could return to Barcelona for a short stint next season.
According to reports from AS, Messi could take back the captain’s armband at Barcelona if he returns this summer. Nobody in the dressing room objects to the proposition and the former skipper could reclaim what is rightfully his.
Barcelona currently find themselves in a strange situation. Three of the four captains, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, have announced their departure from the club, thus leaving Sergi Roberto as the only remaining captain from last season.
As it stands, the La Masia graduate will become the first captain for the 2023-24 campaign. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was given the designation of a captain after Pique’s retirement, will become the second captain.
The third and fourth captain positions remain vacant and reports earlier in the week brought to light that Ronald Araujo and Robert Lewandowski were best placed to fill them.
If Messi is to arrive, one could expect Araujo to give up his place to accommodate the Argentine as a captain purely as a virtue of his age. All other captains, understandably, would move down by one rung in such a situation.
While there is optimism over the World Cup winner’s return, everything will depend on La Liga’s approval of the club’s economic viability plan. A final green light from the league is expected in the coming week.