Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the club’s new signing Dani Alves have both opened the possibility of Lionel Messi making a sensational return to the Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain
Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the club’s new signing Dani Alves have both opened the door for a sensational Lionel Messi return to the Camp Nou.
The Argentine superstar stunned the football world by joining Paris Saint-Germain back in August after Barca were unable to offer him a new contract.
There have now been audacious calls from the club’s chief and the first signing of the new Barca boss Xavi Hernandez over the 34-year-old forward to return to the Catalan capital.
Laporta has sent a warning to “not rule out” the possibility that Messi will once again play for Barca while Alves said he would “encourage” the forward, who has remained a close personal friend away from the pitch.
Messi has struggled with knee and hamstring issues this season since joining PSG and his last club game was two-and-a-half weeks ago, when he was substituted off at half-time in a Ligue 1 clash against Lille.
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The Argentine has yet to find the net in Ligue 1 this campaign while he has been limited to just eight appearances across all competitions and just two complete matches domestically.
Laporta told reporters on Wednesday that he would not rule out a return for Messi nor for the former Barca captain Andres Iniesta, who joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe in 2018.
Laporta said: “I do not rule it out.
“It has happened with Dani, who has already said that age is just a number and has also made a significant financial effort to return.
“You are talking about two spectacular players, with Leo and Andres.
“I cannot predict the future, they are still playing.
“We will always keep them in mind, but at the moment they have current contracts with other clubs.
“You never know in life.”
Alves himself commented on the situation and while he was less upbeat, he did admit it would be “incredible” for Messi to return and he “would encourage” any possibility of a move.
The Brazilian added: “What can I say? If you give me a couple of hours I will look for him!
“He is the greatest player I have been able to see and have as a teammate.
“The great players are always missed when they leave. It would be incredible to be able to see him here again.
“Unfortunately, he is not here.
“I would encourage all former players to come back as there is nowhere to be found that is better than here.”
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Alves said on Messi following his Camp Nou exit in August: “I’m very sorry for Messi and for Barça, but sometimes in life there are cycles that have to be closed.
“Messi will continue to be Messi and Barca will continue to be Barca, but a little less special.”
Messi has a contract in the France capital through to the summer of 2023, when he will be aged 36 – and it is unlikely he will exit the Parc des Princes prior to that date.