As he watched helplessly whilst his Barcelona aspect have been ripped to shreds via a blistering Bayern Munich in an 8-2 thrashing, Lionel Messi should were questioning if he will ever win the Champions League once more must he stay on the membership.
Messi has skilled some galling exits from Europe’s best festival since he final lifted the trophy in 2015, however now not even the disastrous defeats to AS Roma or Liverpool within the final two years may just examine to this devastating quarter-final loss.
At least on the ones events Barca may just take solace from the reality they’d handiest fallen brief via one purpose and received within the first leg of the tie.
In Lisbon, his aspect have been dealt an embarrassment at the scale of Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany within the 2014 World Cup, or, nearer to house, Barca’s 4-Zero hammering within the 1994 Champions League last via AC Milan which proved the start of the top for Johan Cruyff’s reign as trainer.
This very a lot felt like the top of an technology for a group that ruled global soccer between 2009 and 2015 and have been much more hegemonic in Spain, successful 8 of the former 11 La Liga titles earlier than dropping out to Real Madrid this 12 months.
Messi, 33, has been the group’s religious chief all through that point however the catalogue of screw ups in Europe has made the prior to now unthinkable state of affairs that he may just depart Barca, the place he has spent maximum his existence, appear ever extra believable.
The Argentine has received Europe’s best prize 4 occasions, a feat handiest bettered via Cristiano Ronaldo within the trendy technology, however that quantity has begun to really feel an increasing number of small with each and every failure since Barca’s final Champions League triumph.
The Catalans have been knocked out via Atletico Madrid in 2016, out-classed via Juventus in 2017 after which someway contrived to throw away heavy first-leg leads over Roma and Liverpool in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
LAST YEAR OF CONTRACT
This humiliation will for sure deliver the query of whether or not to stick or to not the fore, specifically along with his contract working out subsequent 12 months, that means he may just sign up for a European rival at no cost.
Barca nice Xavi Hernandez stated this week that Messi had earned the correct to have an automated renewal clause because of the whole lot he has given the membership, however, having a look at how his group has declined, will he we wish to signal a brand new deal?
The Argentine will be 34 subsequent 12 months and until Barca make the unconventional adjustments a distraught Gerard Pique referred to as for after the Bayern sport, it’s tricky to peer him being reunited with what he has referred to as “that beautiful Cup, which we desire so much”.
Messi has now not hidden his fear concerning the group just lately, giving a sensationally vital post-match interview when Barca surrendered the Spanish identify to Real Madrid final month.
The ahead’s happiness isn’t just dictated via what occurs at the pitch. He has seemed an increasing number of disappointed with the membership within the final 12 months, talking out at wearing director Eric Abidal in January and in addition aiming hearth on the membership’s hierarchy over their dealing with of a contemporary pay-cut.