Lionel Messi’s potential return to FC Barcelona this summer has been ‘complicated’ by his brother Mathias’ explosive rant and threat to throw president Joan Laporta out of the club, according to a report.
The Catalans’ greatest ever player left in tears in 2021 after Laporta failed to navigate La Liga’s strict salary cap and offer him a new contract.
Messi swiftly joined Paris Saint Germain. But with his two-year arrangement expiring at the Parc des Princes on June 30, uncertainty surrounds the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future.
There have been reports that he could renew with PSG or head to Inter Miami in the MLS while Saudi giants Al-Hilal have allegedly prepared a mammoth $350mn-per-year offer that if accepted would see him top Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-earning soccer players.
Given that the 35-year-old could soon be a free agent, a possible return to FC Barcelona has been talked about as well.
Considering explosive comments made by the player’s brother Matias on Twitch this week, however, where he bragged the Messi camp would ‘throw’ Laporta out of the club if they came back, SPORT says that this potentional operation is now ‘complicated’.
Laporta is said to have told close friends that his ‘dream’ is to win La Liga and lure Messi back to Camp Nou.
While head coach Xavi Hernandez is helping him to achieve one half of this with Barca currently eight points clear of Real Madrid at the La Liga summit, “episodes like yesterday’s make it impossible” for Messi to don Blaugrana again.
Matias Messi’s words were reportedly received badly at the club, and it seems that “the wound may take time to heal”.
Among other things, Matias also said Spaniards are ‘traitors’, and criticized Barca’s fans for not marching in the streets to call for Laporta’s head when Messi left.
He suggested that the club has no history without its iconic number ’10’ and that their museum is instead a shrine to the figure that joined them as a shy 13-year-old in the year 2000.
Messi’s close entourage has since distanced itself from Matias’ words while Matias has also now apologized.
What makes the Messi return more complicated than anything else though are the same financial restraints holding Barca back.
Put simply, they must shave €200mn ($215mn) from the wage bill ahead of 2023/2024, and a mass exodus of players would be required just to land a then-36-year-old Messi, which might not sit well with Xavi.