Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick believes Lionel Messi moving to the Premier League would’ve created a huge buzz for English football, but he’s got nothing to prove after his phenomenal career so far.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick discussed Messi’s Barcelona exit this summer as he appears to close in on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Chadwick admits he was as shocked as anyone to hear the news about the Argentine quitting the Nou Camp after all these years, and he couldn’t help but express regret that this probably means we won’t ever see him in England.
“It’s an incredible story that broke late last week. I certainly never imagined Lionel Messi playing in a different kit other than the Barcelona one,” Chadwick said.
“There were some murmurings 12 months ago but then it was sorted out. Some poor handling of the finances at Barcelona now mean it looks like it’s going to come to an end.
“It’s a shame, I would’ve loved to see him play in the Premier League, but obviously money talks and Paris have got the finances to get him over there.
“It puts Paris on another level in the Champions League, where they’ve fallen short a few times, but they’ve now got arguably the three best players in world football in Neymar, Mbappe and Messi up front. It will be interesting to see how far they can go this season.
“Barcelona obviously messed something up somewhere for this to be allowed to happen, it’s incredible to think he’ll be playing somewhere else next season.”
Chadwick does not believe, however, that Messi needed to prove himself in the Premier League to put himself above Cristiano Ronaldo.
The pair have had a long rivalry, but some critics will point to the fact that Ronaldo has done it in different leagues to show that he’s challenged himself more than his nemesis.
Chadwick says, however, that he has slightly preferred watching Messi overall, even if he admits there’s little between the two players.
“After how well England did at the Euros, the buzz it would have created if Messi did come to England would’ve been huge. But you can’t argue with what he’s achieved in his career,” the ex-Red Devil said.
“Maybe he saw coming to the Premier League – where it’s more physical and different to the European leagues – he’s maybe decided an easier option going to France, but he’s achieved so much over his career.
“Ronaldo’s obviously done it in a number of different leagues. They’re totally different players, two of the best who’ve ever played the game in my view.
“For me, I’ve probably slightly preferred watching Messi at his best than Ronaldo, but I feel honoured to have seen the two best players in the history of the game at the peak of their careers. It’s a shame Messi’s not coming to the Premier League, but there’s little else for him to prove to anyone.”