Barcelona, president Laporta blasted for calling MLS 'league with fewer demands' after Messi deal

Jun 08, 2023 08:20 PM IST

The comments have been met with ridicule from Barca fans, who view this as an excuse being provided by Barca president Laporta for being unable to sign Messi.

Lionel Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami has received great publicity, with the move to American MLS garnering a lot of attention across the world of sports. Messi joins Inter Miami after two years at Paris Saint-Germain, and this move comes as a conclusion of a brief tug-of-war between the American side, Saudi Arabian outfit Al Hilal, as well as Messi’s long-time former club, FC Barcelona. In the conclusion to the saga, Messi announced his decision to join Miami, while Barcelona released a statement wishing him well in the next phase of his career, and providing an explanation for why the deal wasn’t pulled through by both parties.

Lionel Messi (L) and Juan Laporta. (Getty Images)
Lionel Messi (L) and Juan Laporta. (Getty Images)

However, the press release from Barcelona was met with some criticism, in particular the implication of Messi choosing to avoid the challenge of La Liga, a top 5 football league worldwide, in favour of an environment of “less pressure” in the MLS. Part of the press statement reads: “President Laporta understood and respected Messi's decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years.” These comments have been met with ridicule on the internet, especially from Barcelona fans, who view this as an excuse being provided by Barca president Juan Laporta for being unable to sign Messi, having already been forced to let him walk for free in summer 2021.

One Twitter account writes that Laporta would be remembered as the man for losing Lionel Messi twice. Another views the statement as an unnecessary and petty attack at the MLS. Below are some of the tweets.

Many fans view this as Laporta and the Barcelona hierarchy taking shots at Messi for choosing Inter Miami over the Catalonian club, and are receiving criticism for failing to provide Messi with a concrete offer. Messi had earlier in an interview stated that not receiving a formal offer from Barca forced him to look elsewhere, for the sake of his family and not pushing matters longer than they needed to.

Earlier in the week, president Laporta was seen on video talking about Messi’s transfer situation. While interacting with fans before FC Barcelona’s women’s team’s UWCL final, Laporta said to Spanish newspaper Sport: “We will see. It’s difficult. If you do everything you can, there’s no obligation to do more.”

Messi will join Inter Miami once the MLS summer window opens on July 5, with his debut coming at home to Mexican side Cruz Azul. Barcelona are fresh off winning the 2022/23 La Liga trophy, but were knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United, and will seek to improve results heading into next season.


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