For years we’ve heard pundits and managers moan about player power in football, but the entire situation with Lionel Messi might show us exactly how much power players have.
In some ways the situation is fairly simple – he’s had enough and he wants to leave the club – but Barca have no intention of letting him go so any team will need to come in with an acceptable offer.
The reason the entire thing is a mess is because Messi thought he had an option in his contract that allowed him to leave for free, but La Liga have had to come out and insist that it’s not the case – his contract and the €700m release clause are valid.
READ MORE: Lionel Messi pleads with Barcelona to grant friendly exit for a second time to avoid lawsuit
It’s easy to be cynical and suggest La Liga would always come down on Barca’s side because Messi is a huge part of how they market the league.
Just in case there wasn’t enough tension between the sides, it now sounds like Messi has told Barca that he no longer considers himself to be a Barcelona player:
Não é pressão.
Messi entende que não é mais jogador do Barcelona e já comunicou isso ao clube. https://t.co/2oBuOZBOJZ
— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) August 30, 2020
He’s not declared himself as belonging to another club so we have to presume he simply sees himself as a free agent, but this one looks destined for a lengthy court battle.
Who knows if it will eventually taint his legacy at Barcelona, but it’s certainly going to damage his relationship with the club.