Primera Division

Barcelona still want to create a new team around Messi, says club director

Technical secretary Ramon Planes was the first club representative to face the media after the Argentine asked to leave

12:56pm on Wednesday 26th August 2020
Martin Macdonald

Lionel Messi is the greatest player ever and Barcelona want to build their new team around him, according to club technical secretary Ramon Planes.

On Tuesday, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner sent Barcelona a fax requesting that he be released from his contract in order to talk to other clubs and end his 20-year association with the Blaugrana.

Messi has been unhappy with how the club has declined this season, losing the league to Real Madrid and then being dumped out of the Champions League after an 8-2 defeat against eventual winners Bayern.


Does Messi want to leave Barcelona? No. Could he? Yes...

The terrible 2020 which led to Lionel Messi's Barcelona ultimatum

He has reacted negatively to how the team is performing on the pitch and how the club is being run off it, and previously clashed with former director of football Eric Abidal earlier in the season.

Several clubs have been linked with a transfer for the Argentine, including Inter, who one former Barcelona presidential nominee believes will be his next club.

But facing the media on Wednesday, Planes sought to play down the situation, saying: "The truth is that it was important news, but we thought and have always said it, the president and I think of Leo Messi as the future of Barcelona under construction.

"We all have to draw conclusions from what happened and the idea is to build a team around the best player in the world."

The 33-year-old currently has a release clause of €700m, but previously had a stipulation in his contract allowing him to leave for free this summer, which expired at the end of May.

But Planes says there is no dispute between the player and club with regards to any clauses.

He added: "We do not contemplate any exit from Leo at the contractual level.

"We want him to stay. We have to have great respect for him. He is the best in the world, in history. The future is positive, we must speak optimistically. We must build everything. The Barcelona we want. It's our idea.

"It is a marriage and they have given a lot. People see the marriage of great players with Barcelona and this has given many joys. We have to fight to keep it going.

"We are working on building a new Barcelona. All the plans are to make a winning team, with youth, we are regenerating it, accompanied by great players and with respect for those who have given so much.

"We cannot make this a dispute between Leo and Barcelona. Neither of us deserves it. We are going to do work to build a winning Barcelona."

Ronald Koeman is the new head coach of Barcelona, having taken over from Quique Setien following the devastating loss against Bayern.

Latest news

Predicted XI

Rangnick era begins - How Man Utd could line up against Crystal Palace

Ralf Rangnick will be in the Old Trafford dugout for the first time as Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace

  • 7 hours
Predicted XI

How Real Madrid could line up against Real Sociedad in La Liga

Real Madrid are on a superb run of seven wins in a row in all competitions

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Dembele to start? - How Barcelona could line up against Betis

Ousmane Dembele could be in line for a start as Xavi's side look to make it three wins on the bounce in La Liga

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Laporte to return - How Man City could line up against Watford

Aymeric Laporte will make a welcomed return to the starting XI for Manchester City after serving a suspension

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Thiago left out? - How Liverpool could line up against Wolves

Thiago Alcantara has featured frequently for Liverpool recently so it may be time for a rest

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Lukaku to start - How Chelsea could line up against West Ham

Due to a spell on the sidelines, Romelu Lukaku hasn't started a game for Chelsea since the middle of October

  • 1 day

Most read