Lionel Messi should follow his heart and stay with Barcelona this summer in a bid to return the Blaugrana to their former glories, according to his former Argentina teammate Franco Di Santo.
Speculation about Messi’s future continues to spin, and the mercurial number 10’s contract expires at the end of June. following his public fight with the club’s hierarchy in the summer of 2020.
That means Saturday’s meeting with Real Madrid at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium would be his last Clásico if he decides to leave the Camp Nou behind.
Goal understands that the 33-year-old is completely ignoring the situation around his future until the end of the season like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter are still linked to his signature.
And former Chelsea striker Di Santo believes that while it would be interesting to see the six-time Ballon d’Or winner in a new setting, he would rather he stay in Catalonia.
What was said?
Speaking exclusively to GoalDi Santo says: “He deserves respect at Barcelona for everything he has won at the club. It is a team game, but a large part of his recent history has been about him.”
“I don’t think they would have won so much without him. He is the key to everything at Barcelona. And the style of play. He deserves to be respected for what he has won in recent years.
“It would be great for whoever signs it in the Premier League or in Italy. Seeing it in another context would be great.
“However, I would like him to stay in Barcelona to build his legacy.
“If I were him, I would ignore what people say and do what my heart says. I would do the best for my family and myself. Maybe that’s to make Barcelona strong again.”
Is Messi still the best player in the world?
Despite a poor start to the season and the emergence of new stars like Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland, Messi’s recent form suggests that he is unwilling to give up his crown as the best player in the world without a fight.
With 16 goals and seven assists in 13 league games since the turn of the year, Messi has once again led Barça to the race for the Spanish title, with Ronald Koeman’s team now just one point behind faltering leader Atlético de Madrid with nine games to play.
The Blaugrana have also reached the final of the Copa del Rey, which is scheduled for April 17 against Athletic Club.
As such, a national double is within Messi’s grasp, and Di Santo believes his recent form suggests he remains on top of the world game.
“Even meeting Messi is incredible because he is our other idol (from Argentina) along with (Diego) Maradona,” adds Di Santo. “I think with him they are the two best players in our history.
“We have produced so many good players, but those two are the best we have ever had.
“I think Messi is one of the best players, if not the best, at the moment. We are always happy to have him in our team. It will be really difficult to see another player like him in the future.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.