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LALIGA

Lionel Messi serenaded at the new home of Barcelona in Montjuïc…at a Coldplay concert

The day after winning Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentina captain skipped an awards ceremony to return to Catalonia.

Update:
The day after winning Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentina captain skipped an award ceremony to return to Catalonia.
TERESA SUAREZEFE

It’s the sight every Barcelona fan wanted to see…Lionel Messi at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Montjuïc, the club’s new temporary home while renovation work is carried out on Camp Nou. However, they probably shouldn’t get too carried away just yet, with the Paris Saint-Germain star in town for a Coldplay concert rather than to re-sign with his first club. Or at least so we think…

Messi skips Ligue 1 award ceremony for Coldplay

The day after the Parisian side had been crowned Ligue 1 champions for the second year in succession, Messi was one of their four players named in the competition’s team of the season by the UFNP (National Union of Professional Footballers), with Kylian Mbappé, who won the player-of-the-year award for the fourth season running, also included. Rather than attend the ceremony, however, the Argentina captain instead opted to make the trip to Catalonia to see the British band, who are in the midst of a World Tour.

For some onlookers, it’s yet another sign of a breakdown in Messi’s relationship with PSG, although it seems at this stage as if there is next to no chance of him remaining in the French capital beyond the end of the season in any case. Speculation has, of course, been rife about where he will go next, with a big-money deal reportedly on the table from Saudi Arabia and David Beckham’s Inter Miami hoping to make a splash in an attempt to accelerate the growth of MLS.

Barcelona dreaming of Messi reunion

But Barcelona also believe they are in with a realistic chance of to bringing Messi back to Catalonia, with sporting vice president Rafael Yuste not hiding the club’s desire to re-sign their former star in an interview last week. “I want him back, that’s the truth. Because I’m a culé (a Barcelona fan) and because of what he has given to this club. He came through our academy, he started here and wonderful stories have to have a happy ending. He left and it still affects me. But I think if everything goes well - although it’s up to him, I hope he decides to return - we would all be very happy”.

Much is likely to depend on finances, with LaLiga studying the financial viability plan presented to them by Barça, who have to slash their current wage bill in order to sign any new players.

Chants of “Messi, Messi” rang around Montjuïc between songs on Sunday night; will we hear them on a more regular basis once the 2023-24 LaLiga season gets underway?