Messi leaving Barcelona could have impact on La Liga: Cachaza

Lionel Messi - via burofax -  communicated his intention to leave FC Barcelona, on August 25, which began a contract dispute over his release clause.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi will be staying at Barcelona till June 2021.   -  Getty Images

Last week, Lionel Messi reluctantly announced his intention to stay at FC Barcelona for another season instead of taking his beloved club into a legal battle over his contract.

The 33-year-old - via burofax -  communicated his intention to leave Barca, on August 25, which began a contract dispute between them over the validity of his 700 million euros release clause.

La Liga, the Spanish top division league in which Messi has played in for over 16 seasons, issued a statement last week to confirm the validity of the existing contract in place, which would prevent the Argentine international from leaving on a free transfer.

Jose Antonio Cachaza, the managing director of La Liga India, felt “the way the crisis was resolved proved we [La Liga] were right.” He added, “La Liga just gave a legal answer [about the contract]. He is a Barcelona player at the end of the day. Officially, we said Messi’s contract was standing.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 450 goals during his nine seasons at Real Madrid and formed an epic rivalry with Messi in La Liga, left for Juventus in 2018. With Messi set to leave the Blaugrana at the end of his contract next year, Cachaza felt the six-time Ballon d’Or winner's exit could likely have a bearing.

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He said, “When Cristiano left, in terms of competition it was a relevant loss but in terms of the growth of the business and the audience, there was no impact. When the Lionel Messi-La Liga football days end, hopefully, there won’t be much impact. I remember my chairman Javier Tebas’ words that the leaving of Cristiano had no impact at all but Messi’s could be a little bit more relevant.

“We know what fans watch and the presence of Messi made Barca the most watched team from La Liga in Asia. His exit could probably have an impact on La Liga but we do hope we could overcome that impact. Let’s not forget, when his contract finishes next year, he will be 34. Basically, his best years are almost gone.”

The 90th season of La Liga is set to commence from September 12 and will continue to not host any supporters in the stadiums. Cachaza felt the league is still some way away before the fans are welcomed back. 

He said, “We need to have the situation more under control. There are spikes in certain regions of Spain but the situation is way better than February. We have to be careful because the first commitment should be towards public health. We would love to have full stadiums but that’s unreasonable right now.”

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