Cult hero, Lionel Messi has spent his entire club career at FC Barcelona, the club which had been built around him since his La Liga debut on 16 October 2004 in the game against Espanyol.
He got in at the 82nd minute. At the time, he was 17 years, three months, and 22 days old – the youngest player to represent Barcelona in an official competition.
Now, he is having challenges, finding an exit gate.
In comparison and almost within the same time frame, Cristiano Ronaldo had changed clubs from Porto in Portugal to Manchester United in the English Premiership and then to Real Madrid from where he moved to Juventus.
No doubt, the Portuguese was treated much better by Real Madird even though he also had a whopping release clause. In the case of Messi, the Argentine may end up in court for asking Barcelona to let him leave.
The club is unwilling to let him go unless the €700m release clause is paid in full. Messi has asked for a friendly exit several times already yet the club remain firm in their stance.
By contrast, Ronaldo was treated differently when he parted ways with Real Madrid two years ago. The Portuguese had a €1 billion release clause in his contract yet Juventus landed him for mere €100million. As for Messi, his potential transfer fee hasn’t been revealed.
Still, there were rumours that the Catalans would ask for more than €222m they received for Neymar in 2017.
Finally, the relationship between Ronaldo and Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez has never worsened even after Cristiano’s exit while Messi is highly unlikely to make peace with Josep Maria Bartomeu, the Barcelona President.