Messi for life! Barcelona presidential candidate reveals Michael Jordan-style deal he planned for star
Barcelona saw Lionel ‘Messi join Paris Saint-Germain as a fr’ee agent in 2021 after failing to find the funds required to put a new contract in place, but Vict’or Font says things would ha’ve been different had he bea’ten Joan Laporta in the club’s presi’dential election.
A familiar face was retu’rned to office at Camp Nou, but Fo’nt claims that he would hav’e delivered a “lifetime agre”ement” with the Argentine superstar and developed a brand simila’r to that which keeps NBA legend’ Michael Jordan relevant long after his playing days end’ed.
Font claims he wo’uld have managed mounting debts in Catalunya, allowing the services of the seven-time Ballon d’Or win’ner to be retained while creat’ing ties between player and club that would never have been” broken.
Could Barcelona have done a deal to keep Messi?
Messi bid a tearful fare’well to Barca once it became app’arent Laporta and co could not ‘deliver fresh terms within strict bud’gets, but Font claims he would h’ave got a deal over the line.
He told La Vanguardia: “Our pla’n to save Messi was different – ‘reduce salary mass and loss’es the first year and propose a lif’etime agreement.
“The other day I read t’hat the Jordan brand develo’ped at Nike has exceeded $5 bil’lion in revenue this year. Jordan will ch’arge $150m in one year, more’ than any current figure in the NBA an’d more than when he pla’yed.
“We went beyond conven’tional renovation. Surely Messi w”’ould have liked it because he strengthened his bond with B’arca. Today it is urgent to re-estab’lish that link.”
Will Messi return to Barcelona?
The 35-year-old still has an’other year left to run on his cont’ract at PSG, with the hope bei’ng that he will make more of an i”mpact during his second seaso’n in France than he did during his 11-go’al debut campaign.
Another new challenge, potentially in MLS, has been mooted for Messi once his deal at Parc des Prin’ces comes to a close.
A retracing of steps to Cata’lunya is however expected to take pl’ace at some stage, with Barca hav’ing made it clear that there w”ill always be a role for him at their institution.