Matthew Breault, Assistant Sports Editor
Barcelona star forward Lionel Messi is rumored to have an interest in leaving the club. If in fact Messi does leave, his near 16 year legendary journey at Camp Nou would be over.
Manchester City and Juventus are two clubs that have reportedly expressed interest in Messi, a move that could impact the world of professional soccer.
Utica College Junior and Central Midfielder for the men’s soccer team Brendan Law said he would like to see Messi move on from Barcelona because he has done so much for the club since he debuted with them back in 2004.
“He’s brought them so much success and trophies, and because of his global fame, he was a huge part of their advertising,” Law said. “He always had the best interest of the club first and I would be happy to see him move on and finish his career on a great note.”
During his time with Barcelona, Messi has won a club-record 33 trophies. These trophies include four UEFA Champions League titles, six Copas Del Rey and 10 La Liga titles. Despite the many accomplishments, some would still enjoy the idea of him leaving.
Junior Right Back Jama Joseph said he would love to see two of the greatest soccer players ever be able to play on the same team, but it will all come down to the money.
“Messi is definitely one of the greatest players to ever play the game and I’d love to see him play with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus,” Joseph said. “It’s ultimately going to come down to whichever club wants to pay a lot of money for him.”
If Messi decided on Juventus to be his next club, Juventus would have the two highest paid soccer players in the world on their team. Juventus Forward Cristiano Ronaldo has earned $105 million in 2020 alone while Messi’s earnings cap off at $104 million, according to Forbes.
A move away from the La Liga would be the second time a star player has left since 2018 to join another league, and it would change the landscape for Spain’s top-flight.
One of the rumors about Messi joining Manchester City would be that he would go straight into Major League Soccer, the top league in the United States, to play for New York City FC after playing for three years in the Premier League with Manchester City.
Junior and Center Midfielder and Goalie Chris Rosato said Messi moving into the MLS could be historic and it would help the MLS tremendously.
“This could be monumental for the MLS’ development into the soccer world,” Rosato said. “He would also be following a lot of other great players who have entered the MLS such as Ricardo Kaká, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimović.”
Despite the many rumors, some believe a change in scenery for Messi seems very unlikely due to various circumstances, mainly including his lengthy contract that earned him 500,000 Euros a week and kept him at the Camp Nou until 2021.
While some believe that this move is unlikely to happen, others believe it will find a way.
“I don’t see him staying,” Law said. “He was so desperate to get out of his contract, so I can’t imagine another year helping out. Even with the sale of Luis Suárez to rival Atlético Madrid, he doesn’t have much left to benefit from at Barcelona.”
While a move could be a possibility for Messi, some think it will end up being one of the teams that have previously expressed interest in him.
“I think a move will happen and he’ll end up with Manchester City,” Joseph said.