Lionel Messi is on the verge of bringing his 19-year association with Barcelona to an end.
The legendary forward has told Barça that he wants to leave Camp Nou and reports claim he will not make a U-turn on his decision.
Messi does not believe in Josep Maria Bartomeu’s sporting project and has no plans to stay even if Barcelona’s unpopular president resigns.
Messi has spoken to Pep Guardiola about a potential move to Manchester City, who are ‘optimistic’ about their chances of signing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
However, City may need a pay a fee in the region of €100 million to sign Messi in order to prevent a court battle.
Paris Saint-Germain also have an interest in signing the 33-year-old. Both Neymar and Angel Di Maria have reportedly spoken with Messi over the phone this week.
Inter Milan and Manchester United, however, both appear to be out of the race to seal his signature.
On Thursday evening, fans in Messi’s hometown of Rosario gathered in an attempt to convince the superstar to return to boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys.
But a return to Argentina at this stage of his career is very unlikely.
That’s despite the fact that Newell’s will always occupy a special place in Messi’s heart.
He remains a fan of the Argentine club and holds fond memories of his time there from the ages of 6-12 in the 1990s.
As Messi prepares to leave Barça, a video of the GOAT ripping up a tournament for Newell’s when he was just eight years old has gone viral on social media.
The footage is remarkable. Messi’s style of play hasn’t changed at all.
The video shows him beating opponents for fun, scoring great goals, pulling off insane touches and celebrating wildly.
At one point (55 seconds), he unselfishly passes the ball to his teammate for a simple tap-in. It’s rare to such footballing intelligence from a player aged eight.
Football fans who haven’t seen the footage before have been left in shock at just how good Messi was back then.
One fan tweeted: “I am a Ronaldo fan but after watching this video of Messi today 27th August 2020 I admit that Messi is football..”
Here’s some of the other best reaction…
Will we see Messi back at Newell’s one day? It’s possible - but it won’t happen any time soon.
He’s still the best footballer in the world and will continue to win matches single-handedly in Europe, whether that’s at Manchester City, Barcelona or elsewhere.
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