Barcelona president Laporta is clear about Messi return plans
It was huge news when Argentine star Lionel Messi said a tearful goodbye to Camp Nou, but talk of his second coming are premature says Joan Laporta.
In his recent round of media interviews over the last few days, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta appeared on Spanish station RAC-1's Tu Diràs programme. Much was covered related to the Catalan club, but one element had fans’ ears pricking up, rumours of a potential return to the Camp Nou of Lionel Messi.
Is Messi returning to Barcelona?
Argentina star Messi left in incredible circumstances in the summer of 2021, joining Paris Saint-Germain’s since-failed further attempts to conquer Europe. With the situation on the pitch improving significantly under new coach, and former teammate of Messi, Xavi Hernández, and things not going so well in the French capital, a reunion had been hinted at by Barça’s Dani Alves and Pedri. But Laporta has poured cold water over this idea, at least for the time being.
"Right now there is no fluid communication and I don’t speak with him,” Laporta responded. “There is no personal contact.
"He is in Paris, but I remember him with much affection. I know what has been said, but I don't talk to him. I hear comments from people close. I have not received any message from Leo or from those around him about returning. The truth is that at the moment we are not considering it.
"We are building a young team combined with people of some experience, making a good symbiosis that works again. But Leo is Leo, the best player in the world. He deserves respect as a player and person. He is a winner, but it's not something we are planning."
Preventing the Messi departure
Of course, the departure of Messi came just as Laporta was making his return as president and he insisted that there wasn't much he could do to prevent the previously unthinkable.
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"For me, it definitely wasn't easy, but as it was happening, I thought the club had to come first," he explained. "I couldn't put [FC Barcelona] at even more risk."
"I think we did what we had to do."
Another subject discussed in the interview was the upcoming second leg of the Women's Champions League clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
"We have appealed to our followers as we want to set a world attendance record. We are very proud of our players."