Javier Tebas isn’t afraid of a bold quote, and La Liga’s president isn’t beating around te bush when it comes to the potential exit of Lionel Messi.
Messi’s been a one-club man at Barcelona but a sour summer saw the Argentine angling for a move away from the Camp Nou.
Controversial president Josep Maria Bartomeu has since stepped down, inspiring hope around the Blaugranas that the world’s greatest player could stick around a few more years despite rumored offerings of riches and ownership from the City Football Group.
(Re)enter Tebas, who wants Messi to stay in Spain but has made news in the past by taking shots at Man City following the lifting of the PL side’s European ban. Those comments inspired a cutting response from Pep Guardiola.
“We would prefer Messi to stay in La Liga but Ronaldo and Neymar left and we have not noticed any difference,” Tebas said, via the BBC. “We are ready.”
Tebas said that Man City “competes outside the rules” and that he has no worries about offending the sensibilities of the Premier League giants.
“I have criticized what they do so many times,” Tebas said. “Doing it one more time makes no difference. City is neither affected by COVID or pandemics or anything because they are financed differently and it is impossible to fight against that.”
Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Tebas.
Will Messi leave Barcelona? Right now it feels better than 50-50, though winning cures a lot and La Liga remains up for grabs and Barca’s looked quite good in the Champions League.
If Messi exit rumors gain steam before Barca’s presidential election, that may be a sign that the Argentine was already committed to doing something new. Tebas speaking openly and linking Man City just may qualify as steam.