Messi not to blame for Barcelona's financial woes, says LaLiga boss Tebas

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Barcelona's financial situation is due to the coronavirus pandemic and not Lionel Messi, insisted LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported on Sunday that the deal superstar captain Messi signed in 2017 – due to expire at season's end – is worth more than €555million over four years.

It comes after Messi attempted to leave Camp Nou prior to the 2020-21 campaign and amid Barca's financial woes caused by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

But Tebas wrote via Twitter: "Barcelona's delicate financial situation [like other big clubs] is not Messi's fault but the devastating effect of COVID.

"Without the pandemic, the income generated by the best player in history would prop up that expenditure.

"The sensationalism that surrounds the matter is unfair."

Messi, who has been heavily linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League giants Manchester City as his contract expires, scored his 650th Barca goal in Sunday's 2-1 LaLiga victory against Athletic Bilbao.

The six-time Ballon d'Or opened the scoring with a 20th-minute free-kick before Jordi Alba's own goal restored parity, though Griezmann secured maximum points 16 minutes from the end.

Messi has scored two direct free-kick goals from his last four attempts for Barcelona in all competitions, after scoring just one from his previous 62 attempts.

Of Messi's 650 goals for Barcelona, 49 of them have been direct free-kicks – 38 in LaLiga.

Messi has 12 goals and two assists in the league for Barca, who are second and 10 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.

Related items

  • Messi will be missed like Federer, 'so let's enjoy him' – Scaloni Messi will be missed like Federer, 'so let's enjoy him' – Scaloni

    Lionel Messi should be appreciated by fans of all countries at the World Cup as he will be missed like Roger Federer "and more" when he retires, says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

    Messi scored twice from the bench in Argentina's 3-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, their penultimate friendly before Qatar 2022.

    The Albiceleste head to the finals as one of the favourites, having won the Copa America last year.

    That was Messi's long-awaited first major international honour, and this could be the 35-year-old's last chance to win a World Cup, having lost in the 2014 final.

    Although the Paris Saint-Germain superstar remains on top of his game, scoring six goals across his past four matches for club and country, Scaloni knows he cannot go on forever.

    And the Argentina boss expects Messi's eventual retirement will be received with the same outpouring that met tennis legend Federer's decision to quit the sport last week.

    "[Messi] is like Federer," Scaloni said after the Jamaica game.

    "He retired and what happened when he retired? Everybody [was] excited, everybody is thinking, 'he won't be here anymore, he's not going to play anymore'.

    "How many of us would like to see Federer play tennis? Because it was wonderful to watch him play. The same will happen with [Messi] and more, because football is a sport that moves much more.

    "So, let's enjoy him. Everyone enjoys him regardless of the country, it's wonderful to see him.

    "I have the possibility of training him, but I would be a fan, I would pay a ticket to see him and I would buy his shirt, regardless of the country.

    "So, the only thing left is to enjoy him, because I don't know if something like this will ever be repeated. So, you have to enjoy him and nothing else."

  • ‘We lost focus’ – Reggae Boyz coach Hallgrimsson believes 3-0 win flattered Argentina ‘We lost focus’ – Reggae Boyz coach Hallgrimsson believes 3-0 win flattered Argentina

    Newly appointed Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes a 3-0 scoreline might have flattered Argentina, insisting his team was made to pay for a loss in concentration in the defeat at the Red Bull stadium on Tuesday.

    Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice as the Albiceleste, who, in truth, looked comfortable despite holding a slim 1-0 lead, blew the game wide open in the last 10 minutes.

    By the time the world-famous number 10 entered the fray, in the 56th minute, Argentina were already 1-0 up courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s tidy finish in the 13th minute. from there they had struggled to find real goalscoring momentum, that is until Messi entered the pitch.

    After stinging the palms of Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake with an early attempt, the forward made no mistake blasting his shot well to the left of the keeper, when he got another opportunity, to double the lead in the 86th minute.  However, sloppy play in midfield led to the dangerous player taking possession at the edge of the area.

    Three minutes later, there was real anxiety when the wily forward was brought down just at the top of the 18-yard box.  Those concerns were proven valid when Messi picked himself up and scored the resulting free-kick.  Again the Jamaicans might well feel dissatisfied with their defensive play, as Messi found space through a somewhat disheveled wall to beat Blake again.  The match was the first for Hallgrimsson and he believes despite the errors they were a few positives.

    “We lost 3-0 and you are never happy to lose.  Three, zero is a big number but I don’t think it reflects the game on a whole,” Hallgrimsson said.

    “It does not reflect the performance of our players, I think we showed an excellent team performance for 80 minutes and we lost a little focus in possession that led to the first and the second goal and then from that lost more focus for the third goal and that cannot happen,” he added.

    “Those were the negatives from the match.  We kept them from creating goal-scoring chances, more or less, until the 80th minute.  After 10 minutes we were finding our feet but after that, we were comfortable with how we played our defensive game.”

  • Rumour Has It: Newcastle United prepare a third bid for Leicester City's James Maddison Rumour Has It: Newcastle United prepare a third bid for Leicester City's James Maddison

    Newcastle United are reportedly prepared to launch a third bid for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison in the January window.

    Maddison, 24, has had a strong start to the season despite Leicester sitting bottom of the table through seven games, with the midfielder registering three goals and an assist.

    Newcastle reportedly placed bids of £40million and £45m in the last window – which prompted manager Brendan Rodgers to say "that might just cover three-quarters of his left leg" – but January will mark 18 months remaining on his contract, with a voluntary extension looking extremely unlikely.

     

    TOP STORY – MADDISON OPEN TO NEWCASTLE UNITED MOVE

    Maddison is said to be more open to the idea of leaving Leicester after failing to break back into the England setup for the World Cup, with his only international cap coming as a substitute during a win against Montenegro in 2020.

    With Newcastle players Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier both being involved with the Three Lions, it is viewed as a more favourable situation to capture the attention of Gareth Southgate.

    The report from The Times indicates Leicester do have the option to extend Maddison's contract by one extra season, which could give them the freedom to see out the remainder of the campaign.

    However, if Newcastle are willing to move into the £60m range, that kind of spending power could fund some significant moves to address the Foxes' problems, and there is no guarantee his value will remain this high if they delay.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Spanish publication Beteve, Lionel Messi will refuse any contract extension and will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season.

    – Kicker is reporting Tottenham's Harry Kane remains Bayern Munich's top target, and with only one more season left on his deal after this campaign, Tottenham could be forced to cash-in if he indicates he is ready to leave.

    – Juventus will not renew the contracts of Angel Di Maria, Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot in order to reduce their wage bill, per La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    – Calciomercato is reporting Roma will join Bayern Munich and Manchester United with interest in €30m Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber.

    – According to Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United are monitoring highly regarded Vasco da Gama 18-year-old Andrey Santos.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.