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Sunday Oliseh: Messi must not move

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It has been a “high stress” period for Barcelona and Lionel Messi to put it mildly. First, due to a fan-induced probe, Barcelona’s president, Alexandre “Sandro” Rosell was forced to resign his position amid suspicion of wrongdoing (corruption charges) in star player Neymar’s transfer deal.

Now, Paris St Germain of France has decided to stir up the nest further and probably benefit from the relatively weak position at Barcelona. It has announced its willingness to offer a mouthwatering sum to lure Barca’s talisman, Messi, away to Paris.

“Lionel Messi is going nowhere.” That was the defiant message from Barcelona’s new president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, on the prospects of a Messi Move to PSG.

With the World Cup just months away and the Ballon D’or having finally been wrestled away from Messi by a fiery Cristiano Ronaldo, after a four-year wait, what will Messi do next?

One-club man?

Lionel Messi is definitely going down in history as one of the greatest players ever to play soccer. He has broken so many records and we expect him to still break more. There is just one snag. He has broken all those records sporting the “Blau Granata” colours of Barcelona. Would he dare risk a change?

Reunion with Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Ibrahimovic had a short and unhappy stint at Barcelona. The coach at the time, Pep Guardiola, preferred Messi. It is public knowledge that there is no love lost between these two stars.

Ibrahimovic has been king in Paris for two years now and the team is built around him with some success. Who will take the free kicks and penalties? I see a very complicated situation here.

Playing style

It is no secret that, due to Messi’s stature and playing style, “tiki taka” football is paramount to his success. Paris St Germain play a passing style of football but there are not enough lieutenants like Iniesta, Xavi, Alves andPedro to help bring out the best in Messi at PSG.

It is a completely different playing style, culture and fan base to Barcelona.

Money

Now this is the deciding factor. When the Russians of Anzhi Makhachkala came for Samuel Eto’o for a salary of over $20 million no love of Italian pasta or weather made Eto’o think twice. He was, rightfully, gone in a wink.

The kind of money that is rumoured to eventually change hands should this deal materialise will make Lionel Messi the highest paid and most expensive footballer ever.

This is one factor that pushes sentiments aside for most people but Messi is not most people. Or is he?

Why would PSG want Messi?

He is arguably the best player in the world (though Ronaldo’s fans will disagree) and with Messi in your team you are guaranteed of magic.

The introduction of Messi to PSG would elevate them to triple A world class team status and the media attention and financial benefits it would bring are unquantifiable.

My take!

I really don’t see Lionel Messi choosing to leave Barcelona. He is too smart for that. He has a medical background with Barcelona, the fans love him. He is at an age where now he has to consolidate and not kick-start adventures. Barcelona’s game is tailor-made to suit him. His family speak and breathe Spanish, though they are Argentine, and Ibrahimovic is waiting.

I honestly feel Messi and his advisers increase increment in wages.

He is aware that health issues have plagued him lately and there are definite signs of a need for calm and not expeditions. He knows that nowhere else will his football give him as much fun and nowhere else will he be allowed to chip in “on club decisions” (as was the case when Barcelona sought a new coach).

We football lovers need Messi to stay put. We need the continued rivalry with Ronaldo in the same league week in week out.

Messi must stay at Barcelona!

Article originally published on Supersport

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