Barcelona president responds to 'kick out Laporta' comments from Messi's brother
- Matias blamed Laporta for Messi's departure
- Later apologised for his comments
- Laporta chose to respond amicably
WHAT HAPPENED? Matias Messi insisted that his brother, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain, will not be heading back to Barcelona anytime soon in a bizarre rant on Twitch earlier this week. He also said that if the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner did ever return to Camp Nou, he would make sure to "kick out Laporta" as part of a "good cleaning" in the boardroom. However, Matias performed a U-turn on his comments after a backlash online and issued an apology on Instagram to Barcelona, who he had also claimed "no one knew about" before his brother's arrival at the club back in 2004.
WHAT THEY SAID: Laporta addressed Matias' controversial remarks at a press conference on Thursday, telling reporters: “Lionel Messi is part of this club’s heritage. He belongs to PSG. Out of respect, I will not speak. His brother has apologized and that's it."
The Barca president added: "The words of Messi’s brother have no impact on the club's relationship with Leo."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi had no choice but to leave Barca in the summer of 2021 after the club were unable to finalise a pre-agreed contract extension due to a well-documented financial crisis. Laporta has insisted time and again that he acted in the best interests of the club as Barca would have been left in "financial ruin" had they not reduced their overall wage bill.
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WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA & MESSI? The Spanish giants are enjoying a strong domestic season under the guidance of Xavi and will be in action again in La Liga against Villarreal on Sunday away from home. Messi, meanwhile, will look to help extend PSG's lead at the top of Ligue 1 when he takes the pitch against Monaco on Saturday.