Lionel Messi and Barcelona's fairytale story that started with a contract being provided on a napkin paper, could be nearing its end. The Catalan giants have been more than a paternal entity for the Argentine forward in the course of his career, beginning from his childhood when they resurrected his career from the claws of growth hormone deficiency.
It's incredibly hard for a player to leave his beloved club and play for some other team and even more so when he is still bossing the field with natural ease.
Messi's greatness and influence in reshaping Barcelona into one of the greatest clubs in European football will be etched in history for years to come. Having said that, we take a look at three reasons why the six-time Ballon d'Or winner should leave the Camp Nou soon.
#1 For the sake of Barcelona
Without a shadow of a doubt, Messi will continue to deliver majestic performances for the Catalans until he hangs up his boots. However, it’s not the performances that matter to the core. Apart from the fact that they are over-relying on the legend, some aspects need to be sorted at the management level which will only be materialised once the skipper is taken out of the equation.
It has already established that Messi enjoys a big say in almost every decision Barcelona takes off the pitch. Right from signing players to the selection of the manager, it all happens with the indicative nod of Messi. Although he deserves every bit of it, the club often finds them in a position of compromise since the entire system must be in synchronization with the demands of Messi. Any Barcelona manager in the recent past had difficulty in accommodating a player of their choice and inbuilt the philosophy he wants within the team.
This is not a case of accusation though as Messi does it for the good of Barcelona only. However, at a certain point, one must let go the support hand and give freedom to grow independently and Messi should look elsewhere for the betterment of the team he has almost immortalised single-handedly.
#2 Exploring another league
The idea of leaving one's comfort zone to embrace new challenges might not be too enticing a prospect for some players but Lionel Messi should give this a go at some point of his career. If there is one single aspect left to be proved in the journey to greatness which Lionel Messi has achieved convincingly, then it is to prove himself in a different set-up all together.
There is no point in arguing over his position at the summit of the footballing world but since Messi has nothing else to prove, this might be an added challenge to consider. The Argentine has been in Barcelona since his youth days and has reached a point where his loyalty cannot be questioned under any circumstances. However, it's improbable for him to join any other La Liga side. Without an iota of doubt, the world will not only love to see Messi moving to another league but dominate it as convincingly as he did over the years for Barcelona.
Messi has just a few years left to explore another league, preferably among the European top five, as a late switch may not be an ideal scenario for him to take on an unexplored league. Messi fans will not just be simply satisfied by a switch but they would love to see Messi making it the league his own.
#3 Lack of motivation to continue
Lionel Messi has won it all at Barcelona and in all those achievements he had always been an integral part of the success journey. Unlike some players who can boast of trophies and medals in a Barcelona shirt without sweating much in the field, Messi played a substantial part for all the accolades he had gathered over his career in Europe. All challenges have been emphatically kicked out of the way by the Argentine and there is nothing more that can be addressed further.
There is no point in revisiting the numbers but in years to come, the records that have been scripted by the magician will surely be hard to overwrite. From winning the LaLiga and the UEFA Champions League to becoming regular European Golden Boot winner and Ballon d'Or awardee, Messi has ticked everything off everything on the bucket list that can be achieved at club level with Barcelona.
If he stays he will continue to stack up goals and awards with inhuman consistency, but it won't add too much to his achievements and will just serve as an icing on the cake. Being the artist that Messi is, he should look forward to alternate pastures and rejuvenate the motivation to stay at the peak.
Note: The views are that of the author and not of Sportskeeda.
Published 21 Feb 2020, 19:39 IST