Lionel Messi’s brother has claimed the former Barcelona star will not return to Camp Nou unless club president Joan Laporta is removed from his post.
Messi spent more than two decades at Camp Nou having started at the academy before the financial chaos surrounding the Spanish outfit forced him to leave as a free agent in the summer of 2021.
When Messi left, Barca, who continue to be plagued by financial instability, had only recently elected Laporta for his second term as president.
Laporta had promised he would be able to persuade Messi to stay but was unable to circumvent the financial problems of staying at Camp Nou, forcing the Argentine to reluctantly leave the club in a emotional press conference.
The striker, who recently starred for Argentina to win the World Cup, eventually joined French giants Paris Saint-Germain over the summer and is now starting to find his feet in the French capital after a first disappointing season.
Messi has been constantly linked with a return to Camp Nou since his contract expired, but his brother Matias believes there is no chance of that happening unless Laporta can be relieved of his duties.
Speaking on his son’s Twitch channel, Matias said: “I have a SPORT cup that says ‘Messi should return to Barcelona’ and I put ‘Hahaha’ under it. We’re not going back to Barcelona, and if we do, we’re going to have a good clearance, sending off, among others, Joan Laporta who is ungrateful after everything Messi has done for Barcelona.
“People [à Barcelone] did not support him. People should have gone out for a walk or something, let Laporta go and Messi stay. The Catalans are traitors.
Messi’s brother went on to make the extraordinary claim that Barcelona only became a globally recognized team because of the 35-year-old’s contributions to the club where he won 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies among its highlights.
“Barcelona started to be globally recognized thanks to Messi, before that people only knew Madrid,” he said.
After leaving Barcelona, Messi was linked with many top European clubs, including Manchester City, but he was reportedly in talks over a shock switch to Inter Milan.
Inter legend Javier Zanetti has spoken to his former international team-mate with the Nerazzurri vice-president, saying a deal cannot be reached as they lack the financial means to compete with their rivals.
“I was surprised when he [Messi] left Barcelona,” Zanetti told DAZN, as quoted by Calciomercato.com.
It comes as PSG sporting director Luis Campos has confirmed the club are in talks with Messi over a new contract.
Messi is expected to be a free agent at the end of the season and has been linked with a move away from the French club in recent months.
Reports had suggested he was set to join Inter Miami in America, while former side Barcelona were still interested in bringing him back to Spain.
He hasn’t shown a clear desire to leave PSG, however, and it seems likely that he will extend his contract in Paris.