Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona in the summer would NOT have been a good idea, says Javier Tebas
LaLiga president Javier Tebas insists Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona in the summer would have been a mistake for all involved, including the league itself.
Barca captain Messi shocked the world in August when he handed in a transfer request to leave the club, with Manchester City, PSG and Inter Milan all linked with a stunning move for the 33-year-old.
But with Barcelona and LaLiga insisting that his £634million (€700 million) release clause had to met, the Argentine eventually stayed with the club for this season and league chief Tebas admitted a hint of relief at what transpired in the end.
‘As I always said, I will always want to see Messi in La Liga. If he stays at Barcelona, much better for Barcelona,’ Tebas told reporters on Sunday, when asked about the Barcelona captain.
‘If he stays at Barcelona, much better for Barcelona. The union between Barcelona FC and Messi is so good for Barca, for Messi and for La Liga. I’m not sure whether departing from Barcelona would have been a good idea for Messi.
‘Maybe yes as a player, but not for Messi as a football industry, because Messi is a machine in creating industry around him. Not sure whether it would have worked for him.
‘Messi will finally stay but I must say that we had already sold La Liga TV rights worldwide for the next four years and nobody called us asking to cancel that agreement in case Messi would leave. No one.’
Messi was in international action for Argentina on Friday night and scored the only goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 victory against Ecuador in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Tebas, meanwhile, also warned about the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis in LaLiga should football be paused again, as it was from March-June this year following the first outbreak.
‘We are reading in the newspapers that the economical activity cannot be stopped again, there must be a balance between the health and the financial aspect,’ Tebas added.
‘If not, we could move from a health pandemic into a financial pandemic, which would be really dangerous.’
Messi, meanwhile, was in international action for Argentina on Friday night and scored the only goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 victory against Ecuador in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.