FC Barcelona Plan to Honour Lionel Messi: Report

Last Updated: February 25, 2023, 20:05 IST

Lionel Messi fulfilled his dream of winning the world cup last year. (AP Photo)

Lionel Messi left FC Barcelona in 2021 to join French club Paris Saint-Germain

Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi is expected to be honoured by his former club FC Barcelona ahead of the commencement of the 2024-25 season.

Barcelona club officials reportedly met Messi’s father Jorge Messi last week. It is been reported that the central point of the meeting was Barcelona’s desire to pay tribute to their former superstar.

A report published by Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona are planning to organise a tribute match for the football icon when the team returns to their home ground Camp Nou.

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Interestingly, the 2024-25 season also coincides with the completion of the renovations at the Camp Nou under the Espai Barca project.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is believed to have already given the green signal to this grand plan, following his discussion with Jorge. It is also being reported that the meeting was primarily held to improve the relationship between the Barcelona team management and Messi’s party.

There was a question mark on the bond between Messi and the Catalan giants after the Argentine’s brother, Matias, posted a video in which he claimed Laporta should be sacked. Matias had also opined that Barcelona was a small club before Messi’s arrival.

Messi’s association with Barcelona came to an end in 2021 after the Blaugrana failed to fulfil new contract agreement.

Messi, during his stay at Barcelona, became the club’s record appearance holder and highest goal scorer as well. He scored 672 times in 778 appearances for the Catalan giants and won four Champions League, 11 Spanish league titles with them during a trophy-laden stint.

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The 35-year-old was named the best player in the world on six occasions as a Barcelona footballer.

In 2021, he had signed a contract with Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). However, since then, speculations have been rife over the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return to his former club.

Amid rumours of his potential return to the Camp Nou-based outfit, Barcelona head coach Xavi had recently opened up on the matter.

“I’ve already said that this is his home and the doors are open to him, he’s a friend, we’re in constant contact. It will depend on him, on what he wants to do in his future. This is his home, there is no doubt. The best footballer in history would always fit in,” Xavi had said during a press conference.

Messi had joined PSG on a two-year deal and he will be out of contract this summer.

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