Sports

Four clubs Lionel Messi should consider

By Onz Chery

F.C. Barcelona’s captain Lionel Messi. Photo by Christopher Johnson

According to Brazilian reporter Marcelo Belcher, Lionel Messi wants to leave F.C. Barcelona following his side’s humiliating 8-2 loss to F.C. Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League’s quarter-finals on Friday. Messi has not openly spoken about his decision, however it is in his tendency to want out of his team after a tough defeat. He left Argentina twice but later changed his mind.

If Belcher’s report is true, Messi’s desire to exit FCB isn’t unexpected because over the past three seasons, Barcelona has experienced serious managerial problems. It reflected in their results, FCB were knocked out in the previous two Champions Leagues after they defeated their opponents by three goals in the first leg game, A.S. Roma and Liverpool F.C. respectively – and then the embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern happened.

ESPN has reported that Barca sacked their head coach Quique Setién and replaced him with Ronald Koeman. If that’s not enough for the Blaugrana side to keep their star man, the world of football is going to experience a massive change as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could land on any power club. But which one would suit him best?

Manchester City

Messi won 14 trophies under Pep Guardiola including two CLs in four years. Hence, the two are quite familiar with each other. Guardiola instilled a bit of Barcelona’s passing style to City which would make it easier for Messi to get accustomed to. Unlike FCB’s previous managers, Guardiola is a proven world-class coach, so Messi won’t have to deal with coaching issues as much.

Elsewhere, the Premier League is arguably the most competitive league in the world, therefore Messi could prove his talent in a new atmosphere that comes with stronger challenges.

City’s roster is loaded with talents, this would keep Messi hopeful of winning the CL again. And he would join two of his compatriots, Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi.

Juventus

A Cristiano Ronaldo-Messi partnership is one that sounds too threatening to come true. But it could. Despite the rivalry between the two they respect each other. It’s like a new casino site. It gives you a change to redeem yourself.

Messi often fails to perform when his side is down in knockout matches. If he joins Ronaldo, Messi won’t be the lone player expected to carry the team in big matches anymore. Ronaldo would cover his weakness.

The two would become one of the deadliest partnerships ever in sports. If the rumor that Messi wants out of Barca is true, it’s inevitable for this partnership not to cross his mind.

Juventus haven’t won the CL since 1996. Ronaldo failed to help them break the drought after two tries. Adding another Ballon d’Or winner to the picture could help.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan isn’t quite back to their old glory days, but they tremendously improved during the past couple of years. Inter finished in second place in the last Serie A season one-point shy of Juventus and earned a trip to the Europa League final.

It would be a rather entertaining challenge for Messi to move to Milan and see if he can give Inter the final boost they need to go back to their old glory days.

Plus, according to Sempreinter Messi purchased a property in Milan, so he does have some interest in the city.

One of Juventus’ coach Antonio Conte’s strengths is that he often motivates his players. Various times, Messi looked downcast when things aren’t going well in crucial games.

Conte is also a great tactician. When Messi is having a quiet game for either Barcelona or Argentina, the team tends to lose itself tactically because their star player isn’t as involved as usual, Conte could prevent that with his vast tactical knowledge.

Atletico Madrid

Messi isn’t linked with Atletico Madrid. But this move would make sense because, perhaps Messi would take some time to get comfortable in another country because he’s an introvert. Real Madrid is out of the question because they’re Barca’s eternal rival. The next Spanish giant in line is Atletico.

They’ve been managed by the same coach since 2011, Diego Simeone. This shows discipline and wisdom from the club’s leadership, something Barca lacks and ended up hurting Messi. The Blaugrana side went through seven coaches since 2011.

Atletico has an aggressive and never-die attitude which could rub off on Messi to keep him motivated when he’s losing. And they’re one of the best defensive teams in Europe – ATM conceded 11 less goals than Barca in La Liga last season. With Messi’s attacking prowess and Simeone’s defensive mastery, Atletico could prosper in La Liga and the CL.

Onz Chery

Onz Chery

Onz Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, Cosmopolitan Soccer League, and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz became one of ESNY's sports journalists then joined The Haitian Times.
Onz Chery
Aug. 19, 2020

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