Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has defined an era in Spain’s La Liga.
He has long been the thorn in Real Madrid’s side, so it’s a surprise to hear that Zinedine Zidane has urged the Argentinian to stay in Spain after rumours surfaced that he was preparing to quit the club at the end of next season when his current contract runs out.
Manchester City have been quoted by The Sun as being one of the front runners for his services should the current impasse at the Camp Nou not be able to be overcome, though that hasn’t curried favour with the Frenchman.
“I don’t know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league,” Zidane said in relation to Messi after Real’s win against Getafe, cited by The Sun.
With the Portuguese now plying his trade in Italy, Messi remains the big draw in Spain and the thought of him playing anywhere else would surely fill Barca’s fan base and La Liga supporters more generally with dread.
Moreover, it would take away the club’s real cutting edge when it came to playing against their eternal rivals.
The Spanish league as a whole would likely prove less attractive to sponsors without Messi, so it’s down to the club now in terms of needing to go all out now and keep him beyond 2021.