President Josep Maria Bartomeu asserted that in the interests of Barca, he must be determined to keep Lionel Messi in the summer of 2020.
“I will not cause a conflict with him. Messi is the captain of the team, the leader of the team. I cannot let him leave the club. Messi is the best player of all time and The team needs him. Owning Messi is a guarantee of success”, Bartomeu told TV3.
Near the end of August, Messi asked to leave a year ahead of his contract. The decision was made by the 33-year-old star not long after Barca lost a big 2-8 defeat to Bayern in the Champions League. Barca, headed by President Bartomeu, refused to allow the Argentine striker to leave for free. Finally, Messi decided to stay. However, he still expressed his anger and criticized Bartomeu for not keeping his word, once-promising to let him go at the end of the season.
“We saw him talking on the pitch and now is the time to move on after the leaving controversy,” Bartomeu said. “We should congratulate ourselves for having kept Messi successful and on his manners for the past few days. The best player in the world should stay in our house.”
Messi is committed to his stay and will continue to dedicate himself to Barca, and he is showing it on the pitch. In the Girona match on September 17, Messi scored two goals, helping Barca to win three friendly matches before the new season began.
Meanwhile, Bartomeu is facing a new war when more than 20,000 club members sign a request for a no-confidence vote with him. Barca’s leadership will decide on this in the next two weeks. Bartomeu said he is still focused on his work, not mindful of the demands of the protesting group. “The leadership and I will continue to work to make sure we have the most competitive team. We’ll say this again after the signatures are confirmed. At this point, no one wants to give up. The club will move on and we have a lot to rearrange,” Bartomeu said.