The father of Lionel Messi has declared he “hopes” his son returns to Barcelona “some day” – just nine months after he left the Spanish giants to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Things have not panned out for Messi since he joined PSG in a sensational free transfer last summer, having been unable to sign a new contract at Barca. The 34-year-old has a respectable 11 goals and 13 assists to his name for the French club but those numbers pale in comparison to those he posted in previous seasons.
Messi has also faced a hostile reception from his own fans at times, with PSG supporters booing and jeering him and certain teammates in the wake of the humbling Champions League defeat by Real Madrid in March. Throughout the season, there have also been reports the Argentina captain is unhappy in Paris as his family have struggled to adapt to life in the French capital.
All of his has fuelled speculation that Messi’s stint with PSG could be a short one despite the fact he has one year remaining on his contract, plus the option to extend to 2024. There has been heightened interest in what may come next for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, with rumours of a potential move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami continuing to do the rounds.
A return to Barcelona has also been touted as Messi has made no secret of his affection for the club where he came through the ranks before establishing himself as one of the greatest players of all time. The player’s father, Jorge, was quizzed about his son pulling on the Barca shirt again by the Jijantes FC Twitch account and left the door open by responding: “I hope it [happens], some day.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has also discussed the prospect of Messi returning to Barcelona – but only as a guest to visit Camp Nou when it has been revamped. “My communication with Messi is no longer fluid but I’d love to have Leo here present with us during the inauguration of the new stadium,” Laporta told Catalan outlet RAC 1 earlier this year.
“Camp Nou will always be his home. His departure to PSG? We did what we had to do [last summer].” Laporta added: “I’ve received no message from Messi or his agents over a possibility of returning back to Barcelona. As of today, we are not going to be raising this issue.”
Messi was at the double as PSG defeated Montpellier 4-0 in their penultimate game of the season, having already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title. The champions face Metz in their final game of the season.