Messi’s future at the Camp Nou has been the subject of much speculation since his decision to hand over an official transfer request on 25 August.

LaLiga were not at war with Messi

LaLiga president Javier Tebas insisted that the organization were not at war with Leo Messi and that he was delighted to see the Barcelona superstar stay put. Messi’s future at the Camp Nou has been the subject of much speculation since his decision to hand over an official transfer request on 25 August. The 33-year-old has sought to include an exemption in his contract that allows Messi to leave Barca at the end of any season, having endured a tumultuous 2019-20 campaign that ended in a disastrous failure for the Blaugrana. LaLiga has publicly insisted that Messi’s existing deal remains in place. This means he can only leave if his original €700 million buy-out clause was met. With the release clause technically expiring back in June a hiatus in the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tebas would have done the same if it was another player

In the end, the Barcelona superstar was forced to show a sensational U-turn as he revealed in an exclusive worldwide interview that he did not want to get involved in a legal dispute with the club. “Now I will continue at the club because the president told me that the only way to leave is to pay the €700 million clause and that this is impossible,” Leo said. Tebas has now come out to defend the position of LaLiga’s stance on Messi’s contract situation, telling reporters: “Mine was not a war against Leo. I would have done the identical if it was Pepito Perez or any other player in our league. As a league, we must defend legality, fairness: deals must be respected. Always. Whether your name is Messi or another player. I think that there was no fight with Messi and his entourage.”

Messi is the history of football in the last 20 years

“I have a special respect for Messi. I love him. Leo is the history of our football in the last 20 years. How could I go to war with him? I repeat: my intervention was aimed only at the observance of contracts. It is clear that with Leo’s participation, the story has taken on huge media dimensions. “LaLiga head added: “Although Messi’s lawyers said otherwise, the contract was clear. One part was decontextualized, which led them to error. In the end, I am pleased with Messi’s decision to avoid legal collisions. He will continue to play in the team of his life. I hope that the relationship will bounce back”. Messi may still eventually leave Barça in 2021 when his current deal expires. So he will be able to negotiate a pre-contractual agreement with any potential quibbles from January onwards.

When asked to confirm whether the Argentine would be free to pursue an exit next year, Tebas replied: “It will be his decision. The agreement allows it.”