News Matches

Barcelona 'would very much love' for Messi to return & I'm convinced the club is still 'in his heart' - Laporta

15:15 GMT 22/12/2022
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2017-18
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that he would "very much love" for Lionel Messi to return, but concedes any deal will be "difficult".
  • Barca hope Messi will return someday
  • PSG rumours make deal unlikely
  • Reports suggest Messi close to new contract

WHAT HAPPENED? Amid reports of Messi reaching a verbal agreement for a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain, Laporta has admitted he still hopes the Barca legend will return to Camp Nou before he retires. The Blaugrana chief was delighted to see a club legend finally fulfil his World Cup dream with Argentina, but has also warned supporters to temper their expectations with regard to a potential homecoming in 2023.

WHAT THEY SAID: Laporta believes Messi's love for Barca remains strong, but he acknowledges the fact that PSG have him tied to a contract until at least the end of the season. "On the subject of Messi, we can’t generate expectations," he told Barca TV. "Messi is a PSG player and has a contract with them. He has won the World Cup and the Culés have been very happy. What I don’t want to do is generate expectations that at the moment are very difficult. For us he is the best player of all time, we have had him here and I am convinced that in his heart he is a Culé and will always be linked to Barca. Whether or not he comes back as a player, at the moment he is at PSG and we would very much love him to come back one day, but we’ll see."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Talk of Messi playing for Barcelona again has never really died down since he left the club in 2021. But the club is financially constrained, and a deal now would be more difficult than ever. Recent talk out of PSG suggests a Barcelona move is now even more unlikely. Messi has reportedly reached a verbal agreement with the Ligue 1 leaders on a new contract that would extend his stay at Parc des Princes through to 2024.


WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? The La Liga leaders turn their focus to the second half of the season, with Xavi's side set to face Espanyol in a derby clash on December 31.