Pros and cons: What if Messi stays at Barcelona?

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MARCA/ Adapted by Ozilala

The football world is waiting to see what Lionel Messi does next.

In his well-publicised burofax document, the Argentinian forward told Barcelonathat he wanted to leave the club after 20 glorious years.

But reports suggest he may be thinking about reneging on that decision.

We examine the pros and cons of Messipotentially staying at Barcelona.

The positives

Goals and assists

His importance to the Blaugrana’s forward line is unparalleled.

No other footballer in history has had as much influence as he has on a side.

Last season he scored 31 goals and 26 assists in all competitions, breaking Xavi Hernandez’s record for the latter category.

He guarantees those sorts of numbers every season.

Club stability

It would give Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu a huge shot in the arm if Messi ends up staying.

Bartomeu is going through the toughest moment of his tenure at the Camp Nou, and Messi leaving would surely pour more oil on an already difficult situation.

Marketing boost

Brands love Messi, and he generates money for the club like no one else.

With Barcelona suffering the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, how would they cope without him and his image attached to the club?

On-pitch rebuild

Getting a side together to compete next season would be all the easier if Messi was to be there.

He is an attraction to other top players who want to play with him, like Lautaro Martinez, for example.

And though Messi is now 33, he still has a number of years ahead in which he can be effective.

The negatives

Weighty salary

Keeping Messi at the club comes at a price for Barcelona, and it hinders them when trying to work in the transfer market.

Let alone when the coronavirus crisis has already left them with gaping holes in their finances.

Slowing up the new generation

Messi can’t go on forever.

He will end up leaving at some point, but until he does, it doesn’t make it easy to give the team the regeneration it needs.

The departures of Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez point to the direction the squad is heading in.

Getting in the way of team cohesion

Messi’s on-pitch influence at Barcelona is enormous, with everything going through him.

Without him though, Ronald Koeman could start to create a new, more rounded team that doesn’t rely on Messi so much to get them through games.

Fans’ feeling

Messi is an idol at Barcelona.

But his behaviour in the last weeks will no doubt have been taken badly by some Blaugrana fans, and that anger may transmit to the dressing room, and to the man himself.

Also Read: If Messi played alongside Ronaldo……

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