Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has asserted that Lionel Messi is worth far more than he costs the club, with his trophies and awards adding to the valuation. The 33-year-old has been tipped to leave the Camp Nou at the end of the season with Europe’s biggest sides keen on the move.
Following a horrendous 2019/20 campaign, which included a historic loss to Bayern Munich, Lionel Messi handed in a transfer request which shocked the world. But while the Argentine opted to stay in Spain, where he has spent his entire career, the Barcelona captain hasn’t signed an extension to his current contract with the club. It does mean that Messi is out of contract at the end of the 2020/21 season and can talk to clubs over a pre-contract move in January.
But following comments from interim president Carlos Tusquets, where he admitted that the club should have sold Messi in the summer, fans and critics are concerned that he could leave sooner. Yet, Joan Laporta believes the opposite, when he admitted that the Argentine is more than worth his salary because of what he has achieved individually and with the club. The Barcelona presidential candidate further added Messi’s relationship with Barcelona and the city, also has him (Laporta) convinced that he will sign a new contract.
"You could argue many reasons for him staying. I prefer to think about what Leo generates, which is a lot – certainly more than his salary may cost. I'm not just talking about the sporting level, which is already well known. I consider him the best footballer in history. Leo is so much more than just that. In my opinion all players, when they win many titles and generate so much for the club, deserve to be valued accordingly,” Laporta said, reported Goal.
"At least that's how I'll try to make it happen. Leo is, I repeat, the best player in the world and possibly in the history of football. What you have to keep in mind is that he loves Barca and has shown that repeatedly. He is a club man and is comfortable at Barcelona and in the city. That is another factor that leads us to think the best thing for us is for the Messi-Barcelona relationship to continue."