Merengue fans might welcome the Argentine’s potential departure from the Primera Division, but Ramon Calderon says it is bad news Spanish foot.
Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona would represent a blow for all of La Liga, says former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has informed Barca – his only senior club – he wishes to depart after a dismal season at Camp Nou, a decision that has caused uproar at the Blaugrana as their captain and superstar prepares to leave after two decades of service.
The Catalan giants failed to win a single trophy and exited the Champions League with a humiliating 8-2 quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich.
In La Liga, meanwhile, a disappointing end to the interrupted 2019-20 season saw Barca relinquish the title to their arch-rivals, who eventually finished five points clear at the summit to claim their first Primera Division crown since 2017.
It appears the talismanic number 10 will now move on just two years after his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid for Serie A giants Juventus.
Calderon told Stats Perform News: “It would be really hurtful for the image, the quality, the show [in LaLiga if Messi went].
“We have been really lucky having Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi playing in our league for the past 10 years, the best two players in the world by far.
“They won’t be here anymore, neither of them will be with us. It is really hurtful for our league and for the fans.”
Calderon revealed his surprise at Messi’s request, although he acknowledged the scale of Barca’s recent failings made the move understandable.
“Recent events have surely made Messi upset,” he said. “It is a weird time because he is a winner, as Barcelona used to be.
“The defeat against Bayern has hurt him a lot, for sure. That makes Messi reconsider his future, especially because there will be a World Cup in two years. I am sure he is aiming to be there and to win the cup.
“So, he has probably thought the future of Barcelona is not the best for his goals and he takes that decision.
“It has been a bit shocking for me because I thought he had already decided to finish his career at Barcelona, but it looks like these latest actions have influenced him to leave the club.”