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Spanish Newspaper Outlines Three Scenarios For Lionel Messi’s Future in Barcelona

Spanish sports newspaper Marca has outlined three scenarios for Lionel Messi’s future in Barcelona. The daily claims that the 33-year-old is contemplating his future at Camp Nou following the club’s crushing defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of UEFA’s Champions League. Marca notes that in the past few weeks, the athlete has stopped talking about a renewal of his contract with Barca.

Immediate Departure

The first scenario predicted by Marca is that the Argentine will say adios to Barcelona in a matter of days. As the club’s defender Gerard Pique pointed out recently, the club has "hit rock bottom" and needs big changes. This year, the Catalan giant failed to win a single title both in La Liga and in European competitions. In addition, the club suffered a record defeat in Champions League, conceding eight goals (the last time a football club suffered such a colossal defeat in Champions League was 13 years ago, when Liverpool beat Besiktas at the group stage).

Marca notes that while Barcelona is a favourite in La Liga, in European tournaments the club is a shadow of the Barca that thrashed its opponents and staged comebacks in playoffs, making its competitors tremble in fear. The newspaper says that although the club has already appointed Ronald Koeman, who helped Barcelona to win four domestic titles as a player, as a new manager and sacked sporting director Eric Abidal, reforms in the club won’t produce an immediate effect. Messi, who turns 34 next year, doesn’t have much time and wants to win trophies right now.

The Other Two Scenarios

Marca says that Messi may honour his contract obligations and leave the club next year when it expires. The third scenario would see the Argentine renewing his contract and staying at Camp Nou, where he has played since 2004 - the beginning of his professional career, until he retires.

Where Might Messi Go?

He is considered one of the best players in the history of football, so any club – from Manchester United to Barca’s rivals Real Madrid – would be willing to see the Argentine join their ranks. Previous rumours spoke about a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester City. His good friend and a former teammate Neymar plays in PSG. In addition, the club has an impressive line-up, including rising football star Kylian Mbappé, who was compared to the great Pele. In Manchester City, Messi would reunite with Pep Guardiola, Barcelona’s former manager who led the club to the treble and won a record 14 trophies with the team.

Sports pundits and football fans have long been dreaming to see the superstar in the English Premier League, which is considered the best football tournament in the world. However, his colleagues have claimed that Messi, whose height is 1.70 metres, is not built for the tournament. Recently, the athlete’s countryman and Juventus striker Gonzaol Higuain warned Messi about the physicality of the Premier League, saying the "defenders will kick the s**t out of you".

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