Describe the profession John Carlin, Journalist, screenwriter and author (age 66), it can take hours. He is the author of, among other books, “The Human Factor,” which was later made into the movie “Invictus” (Nelson Mandela’s political struggle and how the Rugby World Cup in South Africa affected social change in the country). He grew up in Buenos Aires – where he worked for the newspaper “Buenos Aires Herald” and lived in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, England, America and now Barcelona, where he published an article. Local newspaper “La Vanguardia” in which he suggested that a possible destination for Lionel Messi could be Newcastle of the English Premier League.
Researched by Carlin infobae Various variables for Messi to continue his career after next June 30, he will be free again at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after two years.
What do you think will happen to Messi when his contract with PSG expires on July 1st?
-Well, first of all we make it clear that you are not going to continue at PSG, right? Because the way things are there and the way they conduct it is impossible. So, it depends on what your priorities are, if you want to earn more money or if you want to be at a more competitive level. It’s clear that his biggest sporting ambition is to play in the 2024 Copa America and 2026 World Cup with Argentina, but he can’t lose the spark for that. The interlude between all that is going to Major League Soccer (MLS), where they’re not going to claim it outright.
-Are you so clear that you are going to leave PSG?
I think he will leave PSG this summer. Fans mock him, his heart is not committed there. It is well known that his priority until last November was to get to the World Cup in Qatar, and that he walked around the stadium with that goal in mind, and that playing for PSG allowed him to do so.
-So, if you think he’s going to leave, what alternatives do you see for his career?
-One is easy: follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, play for the rival team, then recreate the derby between them in Saudi Arabia, which will bring a lot of money, but have a dishonorable result. A few days ago, I saw Cristiano outline a smile while receiving the Arab Football Player of the Month award. Is that what Messi wants? He will lose reputation for life. One thing is Cristiano, who doesn’t want any powerful club, another thing is Messi, who has many offers.
You said earlier that you saw Inter Miami as the most logical project.
Yes, very possible, now I’m not sure, but Messi and his family will live well in Miami. His children speak English, they are in a good environment, and he can walk within minutes of games. Of course, he cannot aspire to get this kind of exam status.
A possible return to Barcelona has been talked about recently. Do you see that as possible?
-I notice that the Catalans are very excited about this, but I wonder how much this move is made possible by the Catalan press. The information I have is that personally, Xavi Hernandez is not thinking about his return because he is building a team for the future, is young, and it is unclear where Messi will fit in as he searches for team spirit.
But Xavi has often said publicly that Leo is keeping the door open to Barcelona.
– He had no choice: public relations, diplomacy. Who is going to say that they don’t love Messi in public?
– It seems strange that Barcelona could bring back his problems.
-Yes, there is a dark cloud over Barcelona with the Negrera case, I don’t know if it’s the club’s communication strategy not to draw attention to it, not to talk about it. Messi is very good in Barcelona. This is his home and I see it more possible to live in Barcelona than Rosario, which would complicate his daily life due to the media and public exposure and having to have bodyguards all the time. It is clear that he cannot go to Rosario today. But Barcelona don’t have a lot of money, they don’t have the means to pay him, and a very tough season won’t be good to return with so many regrets.
– Your article in “La Vanguardia” was very surprising, in which you suggested the possibility of Newcastle playing in the Premier League, because it was not mentioned, but it seems logical, because Messi promotes tourism in Saudi Arabia. Behind those capitals…
-That option is hypothetical, but in that sense my article doesn’t make it appear to be entirely serious, but really, if your priority is to maintain the best position to reach big matches with Argentina for the next few years, then nothing. It’s a better league than the English Premier League because if you don’t give everything there, you’re going to lose, although I should be reprimanded for playing in a club with that kind of capital. Either way, there will be clubs interested in him. Newcastle is a rich club today, with a good campaign, despite having to deal with cold and rainy weather, but with passionate fans who filled their stadium, playing in the Premiership (second) until recently. 52,000 people. The weather may be a problem for his wife and children, but he may choose a club in London because, as I already said, his children studied English in Barcelona and they went to a British school.
Which team do you see him in in London?
-I don’t think current league leaders Arsenal have a young squad, but Chelsea are a distant favourite. New owner Todd Bohly has a lot of cash, but he’s lost the game beyond his big investment in signing players, and may need an injection to turn his fortunes around. Something similar is happening to Tottenham, another big club with a lot of money. Likewise, I don’t see Messi or Antonella living in Great Britain in a place as inhospitable as Saudi Arabia. What he will do with his future is unknown and looks like a great football soap opera for the summer.
– And the river? The president, George Prieto, was very enthusiastic, although he realized the economic limitation. His idol as a youth was Pablo Aimar…
– I used to live in Buenos Aires and I like that option. Returning to Argentina would be somewhat romantic and I would be more wrapped up in Buenos Aires. In Rosario it will be more complicated. On the other hand, he will be well received, because in Argentina before he was skeptical and many called him “cold chest”, but now everyone knows that his soul is very Argentinian. What I find difficult is the money factor. The other point is international friction, because this is a league where, at the age of 18-19, players leave because other markets are looking for them. But I think there is another way…
When do you think you’d like to play another World Cup in three years?
-If I were Messi, thinking about his reputation and the second phase of his life, not as a footballer, I think there is something proud when retiring at the top: dignity, nobility, respect. He’s my sporting idol of the 21st century and I don’t like seeing him go a little too far into the ridiculous and start to lose his footballing qualities. Muhammad Ali was smearing his image with everything he was. I don’t want the same situation to happen to you.
-But if you continue, the best thing for you is MLS.
-Yes, David Beckham’s Inter Miami, it will be a kind of pre-retirement, because going to Saudi Arabia is a retirement, but if he returns to the Camp Nou, it will be nice to have him back here.
-How do you see Messi playing another World Cup in three years and two months? Does it get better if it comes within range?
-For me, his gold brooch was in 2022, and as I told you, I would retire if I were him. To win a World Cup at 39… is difficult because winning two World Cups in a row is difficult. Besides being strong and having a great team (like Argentina now), you also have to be lucky, which doesn’t happen all the time. It is very difficult to win again. Anyway, about three years ago I put out a documentary about Messi on “Amazon Prime” and Josep Guardiola talks there, and there are few people more qualified to talk about Messi than him. Pep told me that until Leo was forty and a little older, he could play if he wanted to, but it was up to him. I think what’s going on is that he’s not obsessed with Cristiano’s training and physique because he doesn’t need it either. Going back to the 2026 World Cup, I will not do it again because football is unpredictable and I will give you an example in 2002 when Argentina came with a great team and went out in the group stage and England and Sweden went through. . And Argentina are likely to go to the 2026 World Cup with a better squad, if they pull out now, it would be very sad if Messi ends up like this.
To conclude, you live in Barcelona, how do you see the situation in Barcelona?
-I know the Catalans a lot, they have suffered a lot, but at the moment, I think they are very right because of the media forces that are harassing the club. Let me ask you a question: Do you think Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, would have gone to jail with the same evidence that indicted former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and put him in jail?
– I don’t think so…
-Well… Barcelona’s leaders are complacent, they have more disorder than evil, I think that’s the case with Negrera. They think Real Madrid has a connection with the referees and they ask themselves “Why don’t we?” They would have asked, but there is a higher percentage of lack of control than corruption.
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