‘The truth is that nothing surprises me at this stage…’
Lionel Messi, should anyone need reminding, is not a happy man.
After being refused his wish of a move away from Barcelona earlier in the summer, the multi-Ballon d’Or winner made it explicitly clear that he was far from content at having to stay at the Camp Nou for the remaining season of his contract.
The Argentine has made no secret of his annoyance at the way in which Barca are being run these days, launching a scathing attack on the club’s current president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, as he confirmed he would reluctantly be staying put for the next 12 months.
Weeks on, any faint hopes that Messi’s anger might have subsided ahead of a new LaLiga campaign have now been dashed following the departure of his close friend, Luis Suarez.
Despite reports claiming the move was on the brink of collapse, Suarez completed a transfer to Atletico Madrid earlier this week, bringing to a close his six-year stint as a Barca player.
The Uruguayan’s departure has prompted a farewell Instagram post from Messi, which he used as an opportunity to take another swipe at Barca’s board. For the most part, his message, posted on Friday morning, speaks of how much he will miss his friend. However, before signing off, there is a change of tone:
‘You deserved a send off as one of the most important players in the club’s history, not that they push you out as they have,’ the message reads.
‘But the truth is that nothing surprises me at this stage.’
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Ya me venía haciendo la idea pero hoy entré al vestuario y me cayó la ficha de verdad. Que difícil va a ser no seguir compartiendo el día a día con vos, tanto en las canchas como afuera. Los vamos a extrañar muchísimo. Fueron muchos años, muchos mates, comidas, cenas… Muchas cosas que nunca se van a olvidar, todos los días juntos. Va a ser raro verte con otra camiseta y mucho más enfrentarte. Te merecías que te despidan como lo que sos: uno de los jugadores más importantes de la historia del club, consiguiendo cosas importantes tanto en lo grupal como individualmente. Y no que te echen como lo hicieron. Pero la verdad que a esta altura ya no me sorprende nada. Te deseo todo lo mejor en este nuevo desafío. Te quiero mucho, los quiero mucho. Hasta pronto, amigo.
Messi was strongly linked with a transfer to Manchester City in the summer following Barca’s humiliating exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich. Should matters at the club not be resolved, a move to transfer could be resurrected in a year’s time.
A Suarez-less Barcelona begin their league campaign on Sunday afternoon when they welcome Villarreal to the Camp Nou. Messi, despite his very public criticism of Batomeu, is expected to start for Ronald Koeman’s side.