Ever since Messi sent a Burofax to the club last month expressing his intention to leave, there has been a lot of debate on where his next destination would be, but Rivaldo reckons that the Argentine would not leave Barcelona.
After Barcelona were embarrassed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the quarterfinal of last season's UEFA Champions League, Messi expressed his desire to leave the club. However, the Barcelona board were adamant that Messi would not leave the club until his release clause of €700m was paid in full.
Messi's camp argued that he had the right to unilaterally rescind his contract at the end of last season, but the Barcelona board argued that Messi's right to rescind his contract had expired in June, when the season would actually have ended, if the COVID-19 pandemic had not struck.
Eventually, Messi decided that he would stay at the club, because he did not want to be entangled in a legal battle with the "club of his life".
Rivaldo says many factors could influence Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona
Last week, Messi was further enraged with the way Barcelona eventually parted ways with Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. The Argentine said that Suarez should have been sent off like a Barcelona legend, "the way he should have been", instead of being unceremoniously booted out.
He went on to further claim that nothing about the way that Barcelona is being run would surprise him anymore.
Brazilian legend Rivaldo, however, has said that Messi will stay at the club beyond the current season.
The Blaugrana legend told Betfair: “After Suarez and Arturo Vidal's departure from Barca, it's understandable that the press is convinced Lionel Messi will leave at the end of the season. But I still think that a lot could happen to prevent his exit.
“He'll make new friends in the locker room and we cannot forget that there will be election in 2021 that could change the current situation.
“We don't know how things have evolved between Messi and the current president, so let's wait and hope that he changes his mind and ends up extending his contract for two more seasons.”
Rivaldo also said that Ansu Fati would be the next big thing for Barcelona, and that Messi could take up a role in mentoring the young winger as well.Published 29 Sep 2020, 11:21 IST