Lionel Messi ‘fed up’ with Joan Laporta over jibe that stars join PSG ‘for their slavery, for money’


Lionel Messi is ‘fed up’ with Joan Laporta over Barcelona president’s jibe that players join PSG ‘for their slavery, for money’ – after superstar’s father had personally told club chief to ‘stop talking about’ his son

  • Lionel Messi is reportedly tired of Barcelona chief Joan Laporta discussing him
  • Laporta has been quoted as likening the plight of players joining PSG to slavery
  • The club supremo presided over Messi firing Barca to Champions League glory
  • Neymar has been linked with Barca but Laporta says his deal makes that unlikely 

Lionel Messi wants Joan Laporta to stop talking about him after the Barcelona president likened signing for PSG to slavery, according to a report.

PSG icon Messi’s father, Jorge, told Laporta to stop talking about the Argentina captain in a conversation described as ‘cordial’ two months ago, Cadena SER said.

Laporta, whose first spell in charge of Barcelona saw the club win the Champions League twice, has now accused players of being motivated purely by finances when they join the Ligue 1 winners.

Lionel Messi (right) reportedly wants Joan Laporta (second from right) to stop discussing him

Messi's father, Jorge, is said to have told Laporta not to namecheck his son any more

Messi’s father, Jorge, is said to have told Laporta not to namecheck his son any more

The outlet said that Messi, who left Barca for PSG last summer amid his former club’s financial meltdown, is ‘fed up’ of Laporta’s ‘constant allusions’ to him and claimed that the Ballon d’Or winner’s entourage are ‘upset’ by the remarks. 

In an interview with L’Esportiu, Laporta said: ‘These players who have signed for clubs like PSG have signed for their slavery, for money.

‘Messi has gone as he has gone. [If] these players [want] to return to Barca one day, they would have to come [for] free.

‘We are not in a position to carry out an operation of what the transfer of these players may cost – but even if we had the money, we would not do it.’

Laporta seemingly likened Neymar (left), Kylian Mbappe (centre) and Messi's status to slavery

Laporta seemingly likened Neymar (left), Kylian Mbappe (centre) and Messi’s status to slavery

All-time Barcelona top-scorer Messi ended his career-long spell at the Nou Camp in August 2021 in a shock departure forced by salary limit rules in Spain.

Laporta had been elected president of the crisis-hit club for a second time five months early, enduring criticism over the fiasco that saw Messi tearfully announce his exit in a press conference shortly before he moved to Paris.

The 59-year-old lawyer said: ‘We would all have liked him to end his sporting life here and for whatever reason he has not been able to be.

‘It could not happen because of the fair play [rules] of the Spanish league and the proposal of PSG.

Barcelona president Laporta was unable to stop Messi's exit during his second term in charge

Barcelona president Laporta was unable to stop Messi’s exit during his second term in charge

‘These players, when they enter a dynamic like this, find that they cannot leave because the operations involve many millions of euros.’

Messi has spoken about returning to Barca one day. Strike partner Neymar, whose £198m transfer from Barcelona to PSG in 2017 remains the world record fee, has also been linked with the Blaugranes.

Laporta said: ‘Who doesn’t love Neymar? He is an exceptional player. He has a contract with PSG, he has four or five years left.

‘You tell me, in the case of Neymar. I don’t know how they will do it in France, because maybe they have other systems that we don’t have here, but cancelling a [contract] that is signed in advance costs a lot of money.’

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