Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font speaks about the importance of Lionel Messi staying at the club

Footballing great Lionel Messi on the verge of leaving FC Barcelona was perhaps the biggest story of the summer transfer window. The decline of FC Barcelona was evident and it hit its lowest after an 8-2 embarrassment to Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League. Lionel Messi had made it clear he wanted to quit the Catalan club, and this time they weren’t just rumours, it was well documented by the player himself that he had no plans of staying at Barcelona.

Barcelona fans very clearly were against the idea of their ‘Messiah’ leaving the club. The fans of the club were frustrated and they showed it by forcing an entry in Camp Nou as a part of their protest against the club and the former president of FC Barcelona Josep Bartomeu, who majority of the fans considered the antagonist in the decline of the Catalan giant.


Ultimately, Messi decided to stay at Barca although he wasn’t too keen on continuing.

Speaking to Goal, Messi said “Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700m clause, and that this is impossible,” 

“I will continue at Barca and my attitude will not change no matter how much I have wanted to go.

“There was another way and it was to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here.

“Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court.”

It proved to be a huge relief to the fans, board members and also the players at the club that the great man was there for a season at least. Messi’s future is still met with uncertainty, with rumours linking him to a move to Manchester City. Messi’s former manager Pep Guardiola would happily welcome the Argentinian to Manchester, although the transfer fee would be astounding.

Presidential candidate Victor Font as quoted by Goal, said “When you are lucky enough to have the best player in the world in your team, you need to retain that talent. If Messi goes to a competitor, we will not find an alternative easily as there is no alternative to Messi. So that’s why retaining him in the short-term is critical.”

“But for us the association between Messi and Barca is a strategic relationship and we want to make sure we create the right conditions for Messi to play a role in the club even after he retires. Messi could contribute plenty of ideas.”

Barcelona legend Xavi has been linked with a managerial role at his boyhood club. Font emphasized Xavi’s role in Lionel Messi staying at the Catalan club. He said, “Messi needs to be convinced we have a competitive and winning project and Xavi can play a decisive role in us doing that. Xavi’s credibility and know-how about football is the right one to convince someone like Messi. They are friends, they know each other, they trust each other and that’s going to be key.”

Following the entire Barcelona board’s resignation in October, the Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on January 24.