EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Lionel Messi wants to return to Barcelona as his career approaches end

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Lionel Messi officially announces his intention to return to Barcelona. Thus, acknowledging that his departure from the club in 2021 left a “bitter taste” in his mouth.

During the summer of 2021, the Argentine football legend bid an emotional farewell to Barcelona due to the club’s financial difficulties. This prevented them from extending the contract of Lionel Messi. His contract with Paris Saint-Germain ended in the summer of 2023. Hence, there was speculation about a return to Camp Nou. But Messi ultimately opted not to return to Barcelona and instead signed with the MLS team Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi hasn’t had the chance to offer a proper farewell to Barcelona fans, and the 2022 World Cup winner has affirmed his desire to rectify that situation after receiving his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday evening.

What did Lionel Messi say about returning to Barcelona?

Lionel Messi told the media:

“There was a bitter taste when I left and I don’t like that. I’d like to change the way the story ended. I deserve to say goodbye to the people that gave me so much joy. If it happens I’ll be very happy to be there of course.”

Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, emphasizes that their prodigal son would get a warm reception at some point in the future. Hence, he has proposed two potential dates for the eagerly awaited reunion. He mentioned that the club is in talks with various parties to organize an official event for Messi. Either in June 2026 when the Camp Nou renovations are fully complete, or in November 2024 when the first team will officially return to their home stadium for matches.

Lionel Messi is to return to action with Inter Miami in 2024 and will take part in pre-season preparations for the upcoming MLS campaign, scheduled to commence in February.

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