Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirms plan to honor PSG superstar

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that the La Liga club are set to build a statue of Blaugrana legend and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi in the future.

Messi, 35, left his boyhood club last summer after the Catalan giants were unable to extend his contract due to financial issues. Subsequently, he joined PSG on a free transfer ahead of the 2021-22 season and helped his new club lift the Ligue 1 title in his debut campaign.

After making his Blaugrana debut in 2004, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner became the club’s all-time top-scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances. He also guided the club to a whopping 35 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League triumphs.

Speaking at Barcelona’s General Assembly, Laporta confirmed that the La Liga outfit are set to honor the Argentine. He said (via GOAL):

“We will build a statue of Leo Messi outside the Camp Nou. The decision has been made.”

With his current contract at PSG set to expire next summer, the former Newell’s Old Boys player has been linked with a return to Camp Nou.

According to SPORT, the top brass at Barcelona are in agreement over their stance on re-signing the left-footed forward. However, the Xavi Hernandez-coached outfit has to ensure the financial bandwidth to accommodate the player’s wages if he does come on board.

Meanwhile, PSG are eager to offer the Argentine a contract extension after his explosive start to the 2022-23 campaign. However, the player was not interested in talking about his future until after the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as per CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.

Messi, who has registered 16 goal contributions in 13 matches across all competitions this season, recently missed PSG’s 0-0 draw against Reims with a calf injury. He is next expected to be in action in his team’s Champions League home clash against Benfica on Tuesday (11 October).

Barcelona finance chief says re-signing Lionel Messi from PSG is possible

Eduard Romeu, the vice-president of economics at Barcelona, has asserted that the La Liga outfit are in a position to re-sign Lionel Messi. Speaking to El mati de Catalunya Radio (via Mirror), he said:

“It would be possible financially because if he returned it would be as a free agent. But it’s a decision which has to be made by the coaching staff and the player.”

He added:

“It doesn’t correspond to me [to make those decisions], but it would be viable. Although I don’t have it in the budget. He is an icon of the club. This will always be his home, but it will be a technical decision [if he returns].”

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