Just when you thought 2020 could not get weirder, in comes the Lio Messi news.
First, Tom Brady leaves the Patriots after 20 years, and now Lio Messi is reportedly leaving FC Barcelona after 16 years. One of the best players in soccer history is looking for a new team, and there is a bunch line up to entice him.
But are any of these options realistic? Which one has the most value?
Let’s break it down.
Manchester City +130
The Man City connection with Lionel Messi is easy. Pep Guardiola, City’s coach, managed Messi at Barcelona from 2008 until 2012.
Their resume during that time together is uncanny. It includes six titles in one year while winning the Champions League twice in four seasons. Messi reached his best form when Guardiola was in charge. He took the Argentinean player to an all-time great level.
City has both the money to allure Messi and the system to make him shine. Guardiola hasn’t won the Champions League since he left Lionel and has failed miserably in the competition since he joined Man City. Messi hasn’t won the European title since 2015.
Both need another Champions League title. It’s a match made in heaven.
The last time both shared the soccer field as a coach and player, Messi scored 50 goals in a season, back in 2011-12. It was the only time in his career he reached that number.
If Messi wants to be back on top of the world, there isn’t a more obvious option than Man City.
The Juventus narrative is a little confusing. It’s more about what fans would like to see than reality.
Fans want to see Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the same team after battling against each other for years.
The news of Messi asking to leave Barcelona got us thinking …
— ESPN (@espn) August 26, 2020
Is it possible? Sure, anything is, especially in 2020. But I heard none of the two players openly say they want to play together. Messi doesn’t talk much, and Cristiano Ronaldo has tried to beat Lio Messi all his career.
I don’t see it happening.
Inter Milan +300
Inter Milan presents the most intriguing option. It has a better value than Man City and a better chance of happening than Juventus.
The Nerazzurri has put together a solid project to challenge Juventus in the Serie A. It’s safe to say adding Messi will get them closer to beating Juve.
Inter finished second in the Serie A in 2020 and runner-up in the Europa League. They are missing a finisher, and Messi might be that guy.
Also, their coach, Antonio Conte, is a well-respected guy in Europe. He won the Premier League with Chelsea a while ago and won several Serie A titles with Juventus.
Inter is the bet with the most value.
Paris-Saint Germain has the money to bring Messi, but nothing else is enticing.
The team reached the Champions League final this season, but there aren’t many who believe in their project even after that milestone.
They win the Ligue-1 title every year because no other team can match their investments. And it’s not fun to watch.
I would be surprised if Messi leaves Barcelona for PSG. There’s isn’t anything to allure Lionel other than money.
The Reds won the Champions League a year ago, and they just won the Premier League for the first time.
Liverpool has an attractive and aggressive identity under coach Jürgen Klopp. Messi saw it when Barcelona lost 4-0 at Anfield Stadium in 2019.
Does Messi fit into Klopp’s system? Of course he does. But I don’t think Messi would move to an English Premier League team other than Man City. The Guardiola connection is too strong.
The Rest Of The Teams Betting Odds
Our Pick For Lionel Messi’s Next Team
I must go with Man City +130. Guardiola and Messi have wanted to work together for a while now. The system, the league, and the team make perfect sense for Lionel Messi to finish his career on top.
Some reports mention Messi could move to the MLS in three years. City owns New York FC, where former striker David Villa played the last years of his career.
Villa played with Messi at Barcelona and will probably put a kind word for NYFC when Messi is ready to mail it in for good.
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