Barcelona director claims Tebas would be 'very stupid' to block deal for Messi

By Sports Desk April 20, 2023

Javier Tebas would be making a "very stupid" move if the LaLiga president prevents Barcelona re-signing Lionel Messi, according to a director of the Camp Nou giants.

Juli Guiu, vice-president of marketing at Barcelona, reacted a day on from Tebas saying LaLiga would not alter its regulations to help smooth such a deal.

Spanish league chief Tebas is waiting for Barcelona's "viability plan" for next season, saying he hoped the club could "make the necessary moves to make space for Messi to come in, but of course we are not going to change any rules for Messi to sign".

Messi scored 672 goals in 780 games for Barcelona, setting records in both regards, but he tearfully left on a free transfer two years ago after financial restrictions prevented the club giving him a new contract.

There has since been frequent talk of Messi returning from Paris Saint-Germain, with his initial contract in France up at the end of the season.

It appears to be a strong possibility, and Guiu told Spanish broadcaster RAC 1: "It would be good news, not with the figures that have been published, but it would be great news.

"He is still the number one footballer in the world, without a doubt. [Manchester City's Erling] Haaland doesn't have the pull that Messi has.

"It is clear his return would be positive in the world of marketing, but that doesn't mean he's going to come back."

Guiu was asked whether Tebas would benefit from LaLiga having Messi back, and said: "Of course, and it would be very stupid if he didn't help us if this agreement ends up taking place."

On Wednesday, Tebas said there were ways in which Barcelona could fund a deal for the player who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in December.

"Barca can make moves; they sell players," Tebas said. "That's what we hope happens because I am a fan of Messi and I would like Messi to play in our league."

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    "Obviously, I was sad that he couldn't experience what we experienced [winning the 2022 World Cup], because I know what he felt for the national team and what he would say about Argentina being world champion again," he added.

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  • The Numbers Game: Euro 2024 hosts Germany aim to get off to a flying start against Scotland The Numbers Game: Euro 2024 hosts Germany aim to get off to a flying start against Scotland

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    It's no surprise to see that Germany are the overwhelming favourites to win this match, with Opta's supercomputer ranking their chances of victory at 58 per cent. 

    Germany and Scotland are facing each other for the third time at a major tournament. Germany won the two previous encounters, in the group stages of the 1986 World Cup (2-1) and Euro 1992 (2-0). 

    Indeed, Scotland have won only one of their last 13 matches against Germany (D4 L8); it was in April 1999, with Don Hutchison scoring the only goal in a Bremen friendly (0-1).

    After losing to Turkiye and Austria, Germany have gone unbeaten in their last four matches. That being said, they were not particularly impressive in their warm-up matches. 

    Following a 0-0 draw with Ukraine, Germany beat Greece 2-1 last time out, though they mustered a disappointing 0.88 expected goals (xG), in contrast to their opponents' 2.14.

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    Germany have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 12 games at major international tournaments. The last time they kept a clean sheet was against Slovakia in the round of 16 at Euro 2016.

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Germany – Toni Kroos

    Kroos' presence in midfield will be a major boost to a team that averaged 59.3 per cent possession at Euro 2020 – second only to Spain (66.8 per cent).

    The 34-year-old came out of international retirement to feature for Germany in their home tournament, though of course, it will now mark the final competitive event of his career.

    Kroos – who won his sixth Champions League with Real Madrid this month – played more line-breaking passes (214) and passes leading to final-third entries (69) than any other player in UEFA's flagship club competition in 2023-24.

    Scotland – Scott McTominay

    A strong defence helped get them through qualifying, with a sprinkling of quality from McTominay, who was the top scorer in qualifying Group A with seven goals – one more than Manchester City superstar Haaland managed for Norway.

     

    McTominay's goal tally is the joint most by a Scottish player in a Euros/World Cup qualifying campaign, along with Steven Fletcher (Euro 2016) and McGinn (Euro 2020).

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