This summer, the football world was captivated for a few days when Lionel Messi unexpectedly had to leave FC Barcelona because they would not register the 34-year-old.
In his press conference with the media, Marca relayed the comments made by Peru national team manager Ricardo Gareca. The 63-year-old answered a question about his compatriot departing the Spanish club.
“I did not like that Barcelona let him go or that he left. They are very personal appreciations. It is not a criticism; it is what Messi always had to live at Barcelona. I would have liked him to end his career at Barcelona,” Gareca said.
The question surprised Gareca since his conference to present the players he’s calling up for the looming triple matchday date for CONMEBOL’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in a few weeks.
Messi would eventually join Paris Saint-Germain as it was the only club that could afford to take on the wages the Argentine forward would command.
Meanwhile, for Gareca, he won’t be facing Argentina and Messi during this set of qualifying fixtures. However, they do have their work cut out for them as they’ll be facing Uruguay (September 2), Venezuela (September 5), and Brazil (September 9).
If Peru wants to make it back-to-back World Cup appearances, they’ll need to start coming away with three points.