Newell’s Old Boys vice president Cristian D’Amico has reiterated that Lionel Messi would be more than welcome to return to the club where he began his career.
Messi was part of the Newell’s youth system before moving to Barcelona as a 13-year-old. Although he never played a senior game for the Argentinian side, it has often been suggested that Messi will one day return to the club for his final years.
In 2019/20 however, Barcelona all but surrendered the league title as they drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday – their third draw in four matches – leaving them a point behind leaders Real Madrid having played a game more.
As the Spanish champions continue to struggle behind the scenes, D’Amico says he would love to see Messi follow in the footsteps of compatriot Diego Maradona, who joined Old Boys towards the latter stages of his career back in 1993.
Speaking to TNT Sports , the vice president said: “I don’t know if it is impossible. It is all up to him and his family. As directors we have to provide the best context possible to help him make a decision. When Maradona came to Newell’s nobody thought he could come.
“I hope that something similar can happen with Leo.
“Obviously we shouldn’t be making things up, this is a delicate subject. Who doesn’t dream of seeing the world’s best player in their team’s colours? Time will tell maybe, we have to stay calm.”
Off the pitch issues have plagued Barcelona’s season. Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January despite the club sitting top of La Liga, Quique Setién was appointed after Barcelona failed to land any of their first choice candidates, Messi publicly criticised director of football Eric Abidal in February and six directors resigned in April.
More recently, the club agreed to sell Arthur to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanic in an attempted short-term fix for their financial woes.