Lionel Messi to return to Newell's Old Boys

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 23 May 2023 08:37 CDT
  • 3 min read
Lionel Messi, World Cup 2022
© ProShots

Lionel Messi is set to play for first club Newell's Old Boys as part of Maxi Rodriguez's testimonial in June.

Messi is closing on a return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer, with the Catalan giants offering him a €25 million a year contract which includes a significant percentage of the shirt sale profits he generates.

Article continues under the video

A return to his spiritual home will delight the Blaugrana, and leave Al-Hilal and David Beckham's Inter Miami to wonder what might have been.

READ: ALMOST OFFICIAL: Lionel Messi and Barcelona agree free transfer

But Messi should still find time to turn out for Newell's - the club he represented for five years at youth level before making the move to Barcelona as a 13 year old in 2000 - with former Argentina teammate Rodriguez set to for his testimonial.

'Messi's invited'

"It's the best way for me," former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid winger Rodriguez said. "I may not like being the centre of the show but we have to have a great party for the fans, for the national team. Hopefully it'll be an unforgettable day.

"Messi's invited, that's for sure. We want him there, but he'll decide as the game approaches… Leo, like everyone else you can imagine, will try to be there."

READ: Lionel Messi at PSG: Goals, assists, results & fixtures in 2022/23

Teams representing Newell's and recently crowned world champions Argentina will take part in the match at the 42,000-capacity Estadio Marcelo Bielsa on 16 June.

Rodriguez, now 42, hung up his boots in 2021 after his third spell with Newell's, but the COVID-19 pandemic scuppered plans for a testimonial game back then. He made 224 appearances for the La Lepra, scoring 74 goals.

Messi hopes to continue writing his own story at Camp Nou in due course. He is Barca's record appearance maker and goalscorer with 778 and 672 in each column. He also won six of his record seven Ballons d'Or whilst at the club.

Don’t miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.