Barcelona: Laporta out to bring Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi together

El show de Joan. Joan Laporta is box office. His return to the Barcelona presidency has brought renewed spark to a club that spent last season recovering from Lionel Messi’s burofax (just imagine how sick the forward must have been of Laporta’s predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, to throw down the gauntlet like that!). Laporta’s comeback already began to look pretty promising when he hung an ad promoting his run for the presidency on the side of a building by the Bernabéu. Even then, it was clear he’d return to the post in style.

Tying down Messi. Barça’s financial state has prevented Laporta from doing everything he had planned. He has been seeking out ways to refinance the club’s debt for months, and is close to managing it. But as his accounts department works against the clock, Laporta continues to look for ways to make Barça competitive. Messi’s contract renewal is on course. The player’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, is in Barcelona resolving the final details of a payment formula. His son has offers that would almost treble his Barça salary, but the star wants to stay at the Camp Nou because Laporta has shown him the support he needed.

Laporta's dream. With Messi’s future pretty much sorted, last week Laporta let his imagination run wild and began to think about a deal that sounds impossible. He is dreaming of bringing Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo together at Barça. Alongside his closest aides, Laporta began to map out a move that would go down in footballing history: fielding a team boasting the two stars who have dominated the men’s game for the past decade and more.

Offer. It’s not known whether Ronaldo would say yes to such a proposal. His agent, Jorge Mendes, hasn’t yet put it to him formally. As part of Laporta’s bold plan, Barça would offer two players to Juventus, with Antoine Griezmann, Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho thought to be among those in contention to go to Turin. Exactly how Barça would pay Ronaldo is yet to be firmed up, but if talks over the transfer do begin to progress, it’s understood the Blaugrana may propose a loan deal and use the wages freed up by the two makeweights to foot the 36-year-old’s salary. Although it would be a costly deal, research has shown that Barça’s revenue would be doubled by having Ronaldo and Messi in the same team.

Pulling off the impossible. Laporta’s idea has been met with enthusiasm by those around him. It’s a long shot, but even thinking about bringing Ronaldo and Messi together is a stroke of genius. It would be a massive boost for LaLiga, which has sorely missed the Portugal captain since his 2018 departure from Real Madrid. Seek the impossible, Jan.