#YNaijaSportsExtra: Messi talks about Neymar and his need for a psychologist

Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi who rarely airs his opinions had the most personal interview we have seen of him with a Spanish TV station, La Sexta. Contents of the interview ranged from his current mindset, to what his future ideally holds.

Prior to the La Liga 2020/2021 season kicking off, Messi came inches close to departing his 16-year long journey with Barcelona. During the summer, he requested to be transferred from Barcelona but later opted to stay.

Barcelona’s former president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted that Messi’s €700 million release clause had to be met for him to leave.

When confronted about the trade rumour in the interview with La Sexta, Messi insisted that nothing was set in stone and he too, like many of his fans, are waiting to see how his next move all plays out. “Nothing will be crystal clear before the end of the year. I’ll wait until the season is over,” Messi stated.

He did, however, make mention of a few key interests, one being his desire to play in the American football league, Major League Soccer. The second thing he mentioned worth noting is his desire to reunite with his former teammate, Neymar.

“It’ll be difficult to bring in players because the funds aren’t there. We’ll have to bring in plenty of top players to get us competing on all fronts again and they come at a price. Neymar would be extremely expensive.

“How would the club pay PSG for the transfer (of Neymar)? The situation will be tough for the new president, who will have to be intelligent and get everything in order. Changes will be needed for him to do well.

In the interview, Messi spoke about his recent rocky relationship with the president of his team, and the underhanded tactics the man used in retaining him.

“I had been telling [Bartomeu] for six months that I wanted to leave and asking for his help and he just said ‘no, no, no,” Messi said. “So, I sent the burofax as a last resort to show I was serious, to make it official.

“I’m eternally grateful to the club for everything but it felt like a cycle had ended and I needed a change. I knew this would be a transition year and I want to fight for the Champions League and league titles.

“The president didn’t want to let me go and then he started to leak things to make me look like the bad guy. Then everything that happened happened, but I am still calm that I did what was right at that moment.”

This was not the only reason he was appalled by Bartomeu, he also cited the Luiz Suarez trade, noting that it was a terrible move to trade off the striker to an opposing team (Athletico Madrid), one in the same league as them, with the similar intention of winning the championship.

He did make mention of needing to see a psychologist, even though he is yet to. He hinted at how the year had been mentally trying for him, and how he is just dogging it out.

In all, he reveled that he is remaining focused on his current team for the remainder of the season, and will most likely make a move when the next season begins, one that doesn’t seem to revolve around Barcelona.

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