Lionel Messi has been upset with Barcelona, and even considered leaving the club. Although, he decided to spend the rest of his career at Barcelona by extending his contract with the club until 2023. This does not mean that Messi will forcefully spend the rest of his career at Barca because he can leave if he wanted to. Now that Lionel Messi has decided to stay in Barcelona, the Argentinian wants Barca to bring in Marcelo Bielsa, current head coach of Leeds United.
Messi’s Strain with Barca
Lately, Messi’s relationship with Barcelona has been uneasy. This is because of the team’s recent performance this season. The team’s recent loss to Osasuna destroyed all chances for Barcelona to win the La Liga. This angered Messi greatly, and even called his team “weak” and “erratic”. Now that Barca can not win the La Liga championship, they now want to try to win the Champions League, to make sure they win at least one trophy by the end of this season.
Messi has disapproved of Barca’s management this season. Ernesto Valverde’s firing in January has frustrated the superstar and does not approve of Barca’s current manager, Quique Setien. Messi does not believe that Quique is helping the club, and thinks that Marcelo Bielsa can change Barcelona’s poor performance.
Additionally, COVID-19 has not been kind to Barcelona. The pandemic has wiped the club’s transfer budget, which had lead Barca to put 12 of their players on sale. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes COVID-19 has affected Barca more than any other club. Bartomeu says, “This pandemic will have effects for two or three seasons. Nobody should think that things will be fixed by next season. The great financial gurus talk about four years, but I think football will go faster.”
Barcelona Bringing in Bielsa
Messi believes that Bielsa can potentially change Barcelona, and help them win the Champions League. According to the Sun, Messi feels that Bielsa is the key to Barca’s success. Even Pep Guardiola himself believes that Bielsa is a great coach. If the Catalan giants decide not to employ Bielsa as manager of the club, Messi’s future at the club would most definitely be uncertain.
Bringing Bielsa in now is a perfect opportunity for Barcelona, as Bielsa’s contract with Leeds is ending this week. While Messi is doing everything he can for Bielsa to join the club, Leeds may not be comfortable with this prospect. Due to Leed’s recent loss of Carlos Corberan, who moved to Huddersfield, Leeds also may do everything in their power to keep Bielsa at Elland Road.
Bielsa is a highly respected manager, even of his lack of experience managing an elite European club. If the club chiefs decided not to bring Bielsa, other clubs may decide to poach Leeds manager before Barca will. While Bielsa is a prime candidate to become manager, he is not the only successor to replace Setien. Bartomeu has recommended Xavi, current head coach of Qatari giants Al Sadd, but Xavi is not sure of returning. Barca will have to make a decision on who to appoint.