Lionel Messi’s interview with La Sexta was one of the longest he’s ever given, and covered a wide range of subjects.
In many respects, Barcelona’s best-ever player was a lot less guarded than he usually is in these situations.
Indeed, the depth of the interview made for interesting viewing and no stone was left unturned as Messi attempted to answer every question as honestly as possible.Problems with the president – check. No issues with Griezmann – check. Unhappy about Suarez leaving – check. Unhappy about last season and wanting to leave in the summer – check.
To the player’s credit, he didn’t shirk any questions, with perhaps the only time he reverted to his usual coyness coming when asked to explain the issues he had with Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Saying there were many lies told and promises reneged on was just about as far as the interviewer, Jordi Evole, got before being told that everything will come out in the public domain in due course.
Even the issue of potentially still leaving the club at the end of the season was answered as much as he was able.
What we now know is that Messi won’t be talking to any other clubs during the season. If he decides to do so, it will come at season’s end.
He doesn’t know if he will stay at Barcelona, but will listen to the project that is presented by the new president – due to be elected on January 24 – as part of his decision making process.
A preference to play in MLS was expressed whilst his praise for Pep Guardiola (and Luis Enrique) was clear.
He has always said that it’s not about money at this point either, he just wants to play in a competitive team.
Joining the dots together would lead us to believe that a reunion with Pep at Manchester City is on the cards.
They are a team that remain competitive, albeit they could easily benefit from what Messi would bring to the XI. With him in situ, a first-ever Champions League title is a real possibility.
Moreover, the pathway to MLS is clear given that the City Group own New York City FC, and they could potentially offer him a deal which sees him begin his time at Man City but end it with New York.
Messi’s wages won’t be a problem for the Citizens either, and the chance to mix it in the Premier League and finally shut up all those that suggest he ‘couldn’t do it on a wet Wednesday in Stoke,’ must also surely appeal.