Just days after reportedly being told that megastar Lionel Messi wants to leave his club, Barcelona’s president is reportedly willing to make a big sacrifice to keep him there.
According to ESPN, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is willing to step down from his position to keep Messi at the club. Bartomeu has borne the brunt of criticism for the club’s recent struggles.
Barcelona were decimated in an 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Quarter-Finals – the worst loss the team had suffered in decades. Head coach Quique Setién was fired the next day.
Unfortunately for Bartomeu, it looks like his plea may fall on deaf ears. Per the report, Messi is holding firm in his decision to leave Barcelona, which he made on Tuesday.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is reportedly already talking to a potential replacement team.
Josep Maria Bartomeu is ready to step down as Barcelona president if Lionel Messi changes his mind and decides to stay at the club, sources have told @moillorens and @samuelmarsden: https://t.co/eFvumFJHwA pic.twitter.com/3meVyDaQRz
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 27, 2020
Josep Bartomeu may ultimately not even have a choice in getting to keep his position. Shortly after losing to Bayern Munich, Barcelona announced a new election for president to be held in 2021.
Since Bartomeu took over as President in 2014, the team has won 10 trophies in Spain, including four La Liga titles. But the team has hit a wall in Europe since winning the Champions League in 2015.
Lionel Messi has been with Barcelona since he was a child and is still one of the world’s best players. But after five straight years of embarrassing Champions League exits, Messi appears tired with the team’s direction.
Whether or not Messi ultimately stays at Barcelona, it’s beginning to look like Bartomeu’s fate is sealed.