Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi must leave the club if he is to actually prove how great he is. At least, that is the opinion of controversial super-agent Mino Raiola.
Messi has been a Barça player since the age of 13 and has never seriously flirted with the idea of leaving Camp Nou, even when situations such as his current contract saga have emerged – with less than 12 months remaining on his deal. Despite the club announcing an ‘agreement’ earlier in the summer, the Argentine has continued to put off actually signing.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has a huge haul of countless team trophies and personal accolades, as well as having broken individual records galore over the years, but Raiola believes Messi needs a new challenge to really cement his legacy on the world game.
“A player like Messi must try another experience with a different club and prove how great he is,” the man who famously represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba is quoted as saying by Marca.
Raiola also believes that the time has come for Barcelona to be “reinvented again”.
Barça would never willingly sell Messi. But after the club lost Neymar against their will in a €222m switch to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, anything seems possible.
Messi’s current release clause is believed to stand at €300m, a figure that is perhaps no longer seen as impossible after the way in which the Neymar saga unfolded. There are very few clubs in the world that could potentially trigger the buyout.
“Someone might if they have the money and want to spend it. It might happen, who knows?” came Pep Guardiola’s response when asked about it this week.