Lionel Messi reigned supreme at Barcelona, there is no doubt about that and Jorge Valdano explains it at length in his book Futbol: el libro infinito (Football: the infinite book). In the Catalan team they did what he wanted; he removed and put coaches, he ran and asked for players, he was part of the most important managerial decisions and his name represented more than just the club. But the Spanish team knew that keeping him in the institution represented millions of dollars of income from different sponsors and thus solventing the weak economy that the club required. He quickly got used to the fact that any wrongdoing on his part could be excused without him even feeling guilty.

It was not all plain sailing and the marriage broke up in 2021. The departure of the Argentine player represented for the Azulgranas the worst thing that could have happened in the club’s history. The whole panorama became dark in La Masia and was the premise of one of the worst times for the team. But on a personal level, things also changed for Lio because he traveled to a destination where he was not the king.

On his arrival in Paris, he was welcomed as a new messiah, but things were not like that. The relationship between the two parties has been breaking down little by little. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a trip the player took last weekend to Saudi Arabia as part of his supposed rest days that the club gives its players at the beginning of the week. But the club’s discomfort arose when the team lost its last home game against Lorient. As a result, according to reports, the Parisian side did not give its players days off and they would have to report to training as normal. But the recent World Cup winner was caught enjoying a break. Sure, Paris Saint-Germain has dealt with players who are current stars, but none with Messi’s hierarchy.

That’s when the war started. According to international media reports, the Parisian board would impose a two-week ban on the player and would not allow him to train with his teammates during that period. As a next act, a group of fans showed up at the gates of the club’s administrative headquarters in the southwest of Paris to shout against the Argentine player and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Javier Mascherano came out to defend his former Argentina teammate and said that, at some point, the fans and the institution will be sorry for treating Messi like this. Antonio Mohamed, current coach of Pumas UNAM, also said that it was outrageous because they don’t even know how to plan a protest against the team.

In the last few hours, Messi uploaded a video on his social networks to apologize to his teammates and the club for taking the break, but that he is now at the expense of the sanctions that the club could impose on him. With his distressed face, almost without moving, as if he were a child just punished but who knows that in any case the scolding will not be severe and they will end up forgiving him.

But that is the essence of Messi, to know that he will not find the slightest problem in what he does because teams will prefer that he can have that autonomy rather than lose it. That is why Barcelona is clamoring for his return and the Argentine National Team did everything possible to make him a champion of anything.

Messi’s career will continue without problems because, as long as they have him, any team will allow him that kind of freedom.

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