The main transfer of the summer of 2021 in world football took place. French Paris Saint-Germain announced the transfer of Argentine six-time Ballon d'Or Lionel Messi. The Barcelona legend has joined the club as a free agent and will earn 35 million a year. For Forward News, Messi's transition was appreciated by Alexander Samedov, Igor Kolyvanov, and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
August 10 will go down in football history as Lionel Messi left Barcelona for France's Paris Saint-Germain.
The night before, a couple of Spanish media reported that the Argentinian received another, the last offer from Barça, but it did not look very truthful (more on that below).
But talk about the transfer of "PSG" was not smoke without fire. Interestingly, the transition began after a call from Messi himself to the head coach of the Parisians, Mauricio Pochettino.
Well, then the French club did everything to complete the deal. The details were coordinated for a couple of days, which is practically nothing for a transition of such a scale.
The day before, it was reported that Messi would sign a two-year contract with the right to be extended for one season with a salary of 35 million and a salary of about 40 million.
In the morning of August 10, everything was decided. At first, the paparazzi filmed how the footballer, together with his wife Antonella Racuzzo, left the house in Castelldefels (a suburb of Barcelona) to the airport.
Then the couple themselves posted a photo from a private board, and already in Paris, Lionel waved to people from an open window. Moreover, the Argentine has already changed into a T-shirt with the words "Hello Paris!"
Neymar, with whom Messi has been friends since their joint brilliant performances for Barça, has already posted "Together again" on his Instagram. Interestingly, the Brazilian offered his senior friend his tenth number, but Leo refused and chose the 30th. Under him, he started in Barcelona as a 17-year-old boy.
Now PSG will have to sell one or two players to fit into financial fair play, but the situation for the French club is not at all critical here. On August 11, PSG will hold an official press conference on this transition.
I wanted to run away a year ago.
Messi wanted to leave Barcelona a year ago. Then the club was led by Josep Bartomeu, whom the main star of world football had no understanding.
The Argentinean, who had won the Ballon d'Or six times, the award for the best footballer in the world, did not believe in the club's sports project, considered the Barça squad incapable of solving serious problems, and was discouraged by the way the blue garnet board did business.
The forward decided to take advantage of the clause in the contract. Within a short period after the end of the season, he could break the agreement that was in force for another year and send official notification of intent to the club via bureaux.
But Bartomeu, realizing that the loss would be a disaster for his career, refused to recognize the player's right to leave. Specific dates in June were spelled out in the agreement, and the season was first postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and then finished only in the fall.
Probably, Messi could prove in court his right to terminate the agreement on the agreed terms, but he did not want to sue his native club and preferred to play another season and then decide everything.
Now I wanted to stay, but I couldn't
Much has changed over the year. Bartomeu still received the vote of no confidence he fully deserved, and the presidential election was confidently won by Joan Laporta, under whose first presidency Messi began his adult career.
The football player had and still has a completely different relationship with him. Laporta said during his election campaign that he could keep Leo for the club. The new-old president and the team captain immediately had dinner together, where they discussed many things and reached a preliminary agreement.
They returned to negotiations at the end of the season, but Barça, of course, not entirely unexpectedly, faced serious problems in concluding a new contract.
The main problem was the financial fair play for local clubs introduced eight years ago by the Spanish La Liga. After analyzing the financial statements of the teams, it is La Liga that regulates the amounts that each club can spend on salaries.
Under Bartomeu, the Catalans' finances were so disastrous that Barça's payroll amounted to 110% of the club's income last season! This is a disaster, given that 50% is a hallmark of exemplary health. If the salaries in the club exceed 70% of the income, this is a reason to ring all the bells.
As a result, in just two years, the salary budget allowed by Barcelona fell from 650 to 160 million!
The blue garnet ran into difficulties even for registration of Depay and Sergio Aguero, who came as free agents of Memphis.
The captain made it easy for the club and agreed to a 50 percent cut in his more than € 70 million salaries. But this was not enough to meet the conditions of the Spanish FFP.
The club tried to push the leadership of La Liga for concessions, appealing to the fact that Messi is important for the prestige of the entire championship, but the head of the organization, Javier Tebas, did not back down, saying that he could not do a favor, although he was sorry that the situation had turned out that way.
Surely Messi would have agreed to move forward in his appetites. Still, Spanish legislation has already intervened, according to which the new salary of an employee in the same organization cannot be reduced by more than two times.
As a result, both Barcelona in their press release and Messi himself were forced to announce the striker's departure from the club against the wishes of the interested parties. Well, Leo's press conference, where he burst into tears, spread throughout all information portals and TV channels.
Megabolic for Barça, mega-cool for PSG
For Forward News, this transfer has already been commented on by famous Russian footballers who have recently retired from their careers.
"It's mega-scale. Metabolic for Barcelona and mega-cool for PSG. I think Atlético and Manchester City could give him the same salary, plus or minus. I don't know all the nuances of financial fair play. Perhaps Messi will be comfortable reuniting with Neymar - although, at Atlético, he could play with Suarez again. It is difficult to understand what is in his head and from what he proceeded, - said Alexander Samedov.
He also answered whether it is normal that, despite the wishes of the player and the club, external factors did not allow to conclude a new contract.
"Probably, this is normal; everywhere there should be some boundaries and rules that cannot be crossed. Apparently, Barcelona was overlooked, so they had to part with such a player," Samedov said.
Igor Kolyvanov, who played in various Italian clubs and the Russian national team in his career, and is now a coach, thinks that the material side influenced the choice of the Argentinean.
"Probably, the financial issue has been resolved to a greater extent. It is not easy to answer this question. And in "PSG," they have not sold anyone yet; all the greats have gathered at the moment. "Barcelona," you must agree, has been winning little recently, - said Kolyvanov.
- The club has certain financial difficulties; after all, it mostly relied on the fans, on advertising. And Messi is still a wealthy person - it's hard to say why he chose PSG.
What will happen to Barcelona? Wait and see. Perhaps Koeman is already building a team without Messi, creating their own philosophy and their own football. I'll have to watch it in the next matches".
"The king is dead - long live the king."
A detailed commentary was given by another ex-player of the Russian national team Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who managed to light up during his career in English "Everton."
Barcelona will be at their peak - not Gerard Pique, of course. She will be waiting for new stars, but you can't guess. Maybe a few people will ripen sharply, or there may be a period of calm. Because after Messi, the increased requirements will shackle. They will shy away, looking for an approximate replacement for him. Such a galaxy of players should not be expected. So that Puyol and Pique are behind, Iniesta, Xavi, and Busquets are ripe, Messi and Suarez - and even Neymar is still there. In combination with Alves and Alba, the same bunch of stars is unlikely to gather at once - he stressed in an interview with Forward News.
- Barcelona will face perestroika years. At some point, it can be reassuring, and then it can fail. The level will not allow them to fall very low, but internal confusion will at times breakthrough in this team. The presence of Messi somehow spurred them on, and now they may fall.
It's a pity that it happened because Messi could play for another two years and allow nurturing a new Barcelona. But the management should have taken care of this earlier. But players like Boyan Krkich, who did not play, although he gave out so many reasonable advances, may now get a chance. The king is dead - long live the king. Perhaps some of these players will be able to qualify for some roles. That is, Messi's departure could be beneficial. His presence in the team of pupils of his academy scattered across the arenas. So, they will wait for another Messi. Barça will face tough times.
The salary there is not sickly, rather big. Ten million less or more are not considered such measures. It seems that the principle of choosing the team where it is most needed has played a role. In City, he would not be like the fifth wheel in the cart, but an overabundance of players of this focus could stall the team. Busting breaks the whole game. Maybe this analogy works for City.
To stay in the Spanish championship - to go to Atletico Madrid? Or to any Spanish team, even if not from Madrid, but, conditionally, from Vigo or from Seville. He did the right thing to change the championship; he could not stay in Spain. I see this logic. Of all the options that were announced in the press, PSG is probably the best and most promising."