Barcelona were recently rocked by the news of the resignation of former president Josep Bartomeu and the entire board. Just a day later, Lionel Messi helped fire the Catalan giants to a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League.
The Argentina international scored a goal and provided the assist for Ousmane Dembele to open the scoring as the Blaugrana began the post-Bartomeu era on a winning note.
Messi had been at the center of a whirlwind saga when he submitted a transfer request to leave Camp Nou last summer, citing several reasons for this decision, including perceived dishonesty from the former Barcelona president.
Ultimately, the 33-year-old elected to remain at the club rather than face a protracted court battle but it is widely believed that he would leave for free next summer upon the expiration of his contract.
However, the change in leadership for the Catalan giants has given a glimmer of hope that Messi could be convinced to sign a new deal. Spanish football expert Graham Hunter has now weighed in on the situation.
Graham Hunter states that Barcelona have a lot of convincing to do if Messi is to remain with the club
Speaking to SkySports, Graham Hunter said:
''It's definitely feasible [that Messi stays at Barca for the rest of his career]."
''Messi, amongst the many things he complained about when he sent a registered delivery letter to the club saying he wanted to leave, many of the things were not changeable in the instant, but he said that Bartomeu had lied to him and said all season: 'Yeah we'll talk about letting you go at the end of the season and maybe you can go for free.'
His need to win the Champions League again, his wish to be in a competitive side - that doesn't change everything.
"It might bring in Victor Font and Xavi, two people who are very Messi-sympathetic, it might lead to a new era where signings can be better, where a playing system that used to be established under [Pep] Guardiola and [Frank] Rijkaard and Tito Villanova may be re-established, but will those things happen automatically now that Bartomeu's gone? No.
"I want to leave you with a picture that Leo Messi is playing for a club which at the moment is in the greatest state of turmoil it's been in since the Second World War.
''Therefore, how does Messi choose what he does next? I don't know."
Despite his uncertain future, Lionel Messi has promised to give his all to the Barcelona cause. Having started the season rather slowly, he would be looking to get back to his brilliant best as the Blaugrana seek to recover from the ruins of recent years.Published 29 Oct 2020, 17:28 IST