Lionel Messi’s “difficult” decision to stay at Barcelona has surprised People around the world – but after few weeks of chaos, which side has won?
Messi had earlier informed the club of his desire to leave through an official note last week, and did not appear for the team’s first five days of pre-season training under new coach Ronald Koeman.
However, Messi says he will stay at Barcelona next season after releasing an emotional statement, saying he will play on after a “brutal drama” of being at loggerheads with the club he’s spent all of his professional career with.
Messi had believed that a clause in his contract would allow him to leave for free this summer, but Barcelona and La Liga insist that his €700m release clause would need to be paid in full.
That brings the question: who has come out of this in better shape?
Sky Sports News reporters Kaveh Solhekol and Dharmesh Sheth have been following this monumental transfer story unfold and were on the The Transfer Show when news broke of the Messi U-turn.
“This is Barcelona 1, Lionel Messi 0. Whatever he says, he’s been forced to back down. He wanted to leave on his terms and he was trying to pull a fast one on Barcelona with this clause in his contract that meant he could leave for free. Whatever way you look at it, the Barcelona president is the winner at this stage.
“I think he tried his luck to get out of Barcelona for free and it hasn’t worked out. When it comes down to it, it’s all about money. Messi didn’t feel strongly enough or felt 100 per cent confident enough in his case to take it to court.”