The good thing about a bad thing- it will surely come to an end, the bad thing about a good thing- it will surely come to an end.
After a 20 year+ romantic trophy laden spell between Argentine football wizard, Lionel Messi and Spanish giants, Barcelona, ADEKANYE OPEOLUWA and BELLO DAMILOLA asks, is this the perfect time to part ways?
Love so strong.
The relationship between Lionel Messi and Barcelona is a perfect near story. Messi is Barcelona through and through.
He rose through the ranks from the world famous La Masia academy. But not first before succumbing a life threatening disease which saw Young Messi failing to grow like his peers.
Barcelona took charge of his recuperation and the story can be well told that the Spanish Club has reaped from that investment.
Lionel Messi who turned 32 years about 74 days ago has again been on the headlines, for a speculative reason this time around.
The five time Ballon D’or winner who is currently one of the biggest stars in the world of sports, football specifically signed his most recent contract for European and Spanish club Giants FC Barcelona back in 2017. The agreement will prolong his stay at the Spanish capital until at least June 2021.
Trophies and goals galore.
Lionel Messi who made his first team bow for Barcelona back in October 16 2004 against Catalan rivals Espanyol has since then been pivotal in the success story of the club. With 10 Spanish League titles, 4 UEFA Champions League trophies, 3 world club cups, 6 Spanish cups and a host of other individual accolades, the talisman has had a hand in a good percentage of the streak.
The Barcelona forward now has a total of 600 goals for his club side with him being the only player in history to secure 40+ club goals in 8 consecutive seasons.
One cannot but agree that over the years there has been an over-dependence on the services of the talisman as regards team capacity to display a winning logic when it was most important.
The most recent being Barcelona’s dismal display in the UEFA Champions league semi-final second-leg match against LIVERPOOL FC in the 2018/2019 season where they lost out from a 4-0 second leg match only after coming out 3-0 victor in the first leg fixture leaving them to crash out in a 4-3 aggregate.
This is not the first time Barcelona would cheaply lose out in the Champions league with another swift reminder being their 3-0 return leg loss at the hands of AS Roma after an impressive first leg 4-1 win.
There are clear indications that Lionel Messi would not always be the hero in situations like this and the need for his teammates to stand in as a play-study, but most times not the case.
With his contract due to expire in June 2021, the Argentina captain also has the option to walk out of the contract as stated in his contract legal documentation.
Although his club side has reinforced with top quality signings this season, it is however not a determinant in putting a halt to their unexpected mediocrity in European competitions as they have always taken this step over the years but keep getting the same result.
A standard too high?
Messi was largely ignored for all the major individual awards in 2018, losing out to Luka Modric and the trend looks set to continue in 2019 with Virgil Van Dijk claiming the UEFA men’s best player award despite the loads of goals and assists provided by Lionel Messi in the years under review.
Voters, coaches, analysts and pundits are looking past Messi for individual awards despite his heroics, time to change that narrative with a move to another club?
Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid to Juventus saw him re-ignite his ballon d’or hopes despite a significant drop in his goal scoring powers.
The Portuguese has won the League in Italy, Spain and Italy.
For Messi on the other hand, all his achievements have been in Spain.
Opinion has it that maybe it is time for the Argentine to look for a new challenge in another European league or better still put an end to his football career which has over the years shone as bright as a blinding illumination, perfect time for Messi to part ways with Barcelona?