To say that Lionel Messi's name has become synonymous with football would be an understatement. People, whether they know anything about football or not, know all about Lionel Messi.
While football fans are taking a break from the high-octane action of the ongoing Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments, there is still plenty of drama. Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the world, if not the greatest of all time, may see his more than a two-decade-long relationship with FC Barcelona come to an abrupt end as his current contract ends in June.
Messi has been an official Barcelona player since January 8, 2001, and tomorrow will be a fresh start. While Barcelona president Joan Laporta has had a contract on the table for Messi to sign for several weeks, it appears that a lack of clarity on both sides' progress means that last year's fiasco between the club and the superstar has likely burned all the bridges.
While there have been reports in the past that Messi is looking for a new competitive challenge, the club's massive debts, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, haven't helped matters. It's no secret that the new contract offered will fall short of his current lucrative contract, which costs the club over 100 million euros per year.
However, with Gulf-state-backed clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly making offers that not only match but exceed his current salary, it must be tempting and challenging for a player who isn't afraid of a new challenge in his career after being labelled one-dimensional for succeeding the Barca way.
In fact, he has given fans no assurances about his future. Messi's most recent statement on his transfer was in December of last year when he stated that he did not want to discuss his future until the end of the season, but he has remained silent on the subject at all of the Copa America press conferences he has attended, not to mention his absence from the launch of Barcelona's 2021-22 season kit.
However, hope is not lost for Barcelona fans, as his father, Jorge Messi, reportedly had lunch with Laporta in mid-April, implying that a lot could be going on behind the scenes, not to mention the bond and love he shares with the club's million fans