Bartomeu: Letting Messi Leave Barcelona Was a Mistake

The former Blaugrana president prevented the Argentine icon from leaving Camp Nou in 2020, but he left for PSG as a free agent the following summer

Josep Maria Bartomeu says it was a “mistake” for Barcelona to let Lionel Messi leave in the summer of 2021, with the former Blaugrana president claiming that he would only have allowed the Argentine to depart Camp Nou for MLS or Asia.

That stance was taken in 2020 when the six-time Ballon d’Or first made a push for the exits, with Messi informed that he would not be freed from the final year of a lucrative contract.

That deal was eventually run down and, with financial mismanagement preventing fresh terms from being signed, the all-time great packed his bags and linked up with Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain.

Bartomeu, who has shouldered much of the blame for an economic crisis in Catalunya, told Mundo Deportivo of seeing his successor, Joan Laporta, fail to keep Messi on Barca’s books: “I have always thought that it is essential that he be with us, not only because he is the best in the world, but also because of his economic and institutional contribution.

“It is a mistake to let Messi go. He represents much more than a footballer.”

Asked about the infamous Burofax incident of 2020 in which Messi first informed Barca of his desire to move on, Bartomeu said: “Messi wanted to leave the club, we talked about it and I said no.

“I have always thought that Messi is very important to our club, Barca is also very important to him and it would be a serious problem if he left, as I think it has become now.

“I told him that if he wanted to go like Xavi and Iniesta, to Qatar, China or the United States, we can talk about it and we will do a tribute and a farewell. But Messi didn’t have a team yet and he wanted to be free.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.