Messi cares about winning trophies, not money – Laporta
Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta says Lionel Messi is more motivated by silverware than how high his wages are.
Messi is poised to leave Barcelona this summer after becoming disillusioned with life at the Camp Nou both on and off the pitch.
In terms of performances on the pitch, they were knocked out of the Champions League in embarrassing fashion last season in a 8-2 defeat by Bayern, while they are on the cusp of being eliminated in the first knockout round in the 2020/21 campaign following their 4-1 home loss versus PSG this week.
The club is also in a terrible state financially, with debts mounting up to well beyond the €1 billion mark.
FootballTransfers recently detailed their business in the transfer market over the last five years, which has seen them spend €200 million on average every campaign.
Wages also present a big problem, and Messi earns more than anyone, which has led to some criticism being levelled at the Argentine as Barcelona now simply cannot afford to keep him on his current pay structure.
Laporta has defended the superstar, though, saying Messi’s desire to leave is because the team is no longer competing for major trophies, not due to any potential wage reduction.
“Giving him affection is very important,” Laporta told Sky Sport Italia.
“The love story between Messi and Barcelona is one of the most beautiful stories in football.
“He has to be loved. He deserves it. And he has to be valued with an economic offer that makes him feel valued, but he’s not led by money. I know him, I have a good relationship with him and a lot of respect.
“He’s a winner. What he wants is to win again, with Barcelona. I’m going to do everything I can to keep him. Our competitors are state clubs, they are making offers.
“We have to be clear that money doesn’t guarantee titles, and Leo is more about winning titles than making money.”
Where will Messi go?
As of 1 January, Messi became available to talk to other clubs about a potential free transfer this summer when his Barcelona contract expires.
He has been most strongly linked with a move to PSG, though Man City still hold an interest, and hold an ace up their sleeve due to the presence of his former coach Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
FootballTransfers previously revealed that PSG had informed merchandise vendors within the city of Paris to prepare themselves for Messi’s arrival.