Lionel Messi starts following Chelsea and its players on Instagram, pressure on Barcelona
Lionel Messi sent fans and the media crazy last night when he started following Chelsea on Instagram. The Barcelona forward has an official account LeoMessi on the social media app and all his followers saw the notification when he followed Chelsea, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Filipe Luis.
Barcelona are currently going through a mini crisis at the moment after the club terminated the contract of the Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta. This was followed by the resignation of Carles Puyol who was the Assistant Director of Football. There was also a report of a confrontation between Messi and coach Luis Enrique which said the No.10 was ‘irritated by the excessive authoritarianism of the coach’.
With a transfer ban in place that prevents the Catalan club from signing players until 2016, the last thing they would want is to let go of their most prized asset. While it would take a record breaking bid of astronomic proportions to bring the Argentine international to Stamford Bridge, the fact that he has started following the club and its players suggests he may be putting pressure on the board by making his intentions to leave public.
Lionel Messi only just signed a new contract in May last year which increased his salary to around €20 million per season but did not extend it beyond June 2018. HIs release clause is still €250 million, but that price may come down if he is unhappy at Barcelona and serious about leaving the club.
To make matters worse, Messi did not start the game against Real Sociedad and only came on as a half-time substitute when they were down 1-0. Barcelona eventually went on to lose the match, stretching their winless run at the Anoeta Stadium to six games.
To further add fuel to the fire, Messi’s girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo also started following Chelsea on Twitter. Although it is not a verified account, she has been known to post personal messages and photos on Twitter.
Whether this is just a stunt to get the board’s attention to get things right at the club remains to be seen.