Lionel Messi Forced To Leave Barcelona For Three Reasons, It Showed How Deep The Problems Were At Club
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That is according to Barcelona’s highest guarantor, Jose Elias, who claimed the Spanish club suffered from “some economic and organisational limitations.”
Messi agreed to take a whopping 50 per cent pay cut to commit his long-term future to Barcelona.
However, the contract agreement between the 34-year-old Argentine superstar and Barcelona was dashed in August due to La Liga’s financial rules on player registration.
An emotional Messi broke down in tears during his farewell Barcelona press conference, with the Argentina captain receiving an incredible spine-tingling reception at the Camp Nou.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner’s remarkable time at Barcelona came to an end and Messi completed a sensational free transfer move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Elias put up a hefty €9m as a guarantee for Joan Laporta’s successful Barcelona presidential election win back in March.
According to Sport, Barcelona’s highest guarantor claims Messi “wasn’t crying” because he was unable to remain at the Camp Nou.
“Messi's departure was coming,” Elias said.
“[Barca] had to generate a new team and with Messi you couldn't. He's at a certain age not to be at Barca [...].
“To convert Barca into a winning team passes through a post-Messi project. A decision had to be made eventually.”
Elias continued: “Messi wasn't crying because he wasn't staying at Barca, but for a range of things.
“He was finishing a cycle. And on top of that, he had made his life in Barcelona with his family.”
Messi will reportedly earn a staggering £82m salary across three seasons at PSG, with the Argentine forward under contract until 2023.
According to Elias, the club’s wage bill hindered Barcelona’s position to sign Messi to a new contract.
Another factor that led to the Argentine’s departure was having the money to meet his hefty wage bill, with Barcelona planning to pay him in instalments.
Finally, Elias revealed that Barcelona were unable to create a “new team and new excitement” while keeping hold of Messi.
“Barca also had some economic and organisational limitations,” he said.
“So there were three reasons for which Messi could not continue.
“The organisation of the club's wage bill: they had to tackle some salary reductions which were difficult to understand.
“Two, we didn't have money to pay him and we were doing handstands to pay him in instalments, which is what they are doing in Paris. You have to delude yourself to believe that he could continue.
“And three, we have to generate a new team and new excitement and, with Messi inside, you could not do that.”
Messi has made a slow start to life with PSG and scored three times in eight appearances across all competitions.
The Barcelona legend returned to action for Argentina for their World Cup qualifiers, despite PSG being unhappy with the decision due to his injury.
Messi came off the bench in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Uruguay before starting in his side’s 0-0 draw with Brazil.