March 2, 2021

I can understand why Messi wants to leave Barcelona – Alonso

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The Argentine wants to leave Camp Nou, and the former Spain international believes he can explain why

Xabi Alonso has said that he understands why Lionel Messi wants to depart Barcelona.

The former Spain international midfielder, who started his career with Real Sociedad before excelling at Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, believes that the Argentine needs to move on to rekindle his love for the sport.

Messi stunned the world game earlier this week when news broke that he wants to leave Barcelona after a disappointing season that saw them lose La Liga to Real Madrid and crash out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Manchester CityParis Saint-Germain, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter have all been linked with a move for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who to this point has spent his entire senior career with the Camp Nou outfit.

Alonso, though, believes his desire to move on is understandable, with Goal having reporting that Messi now plans to hold talks with Barca’s board over an amicable exit.

“I have the impression that Messi is following a feeling,” he told Suddeutsche Zeitung. “He’s come to the conclusion that at the moment he needs something different, something new to get back to feeling the pure pleasure of football.”

If Barcelona fans cannot believe the speed at which the story has developed, Alonso believes they could be in for a rude awakening come the start of the new season.

“The moment Messi puts on another shirt, it will end,” he said. “The unimaginable ceases to be unimaginable.”

Meanwhile, the former deep-lying playmaker said he was astounded by just how easily Barca were brushed aside by his former club in the last eight of the Champions League, with Bayern thumping Barca 8-2.

“It belongs to a category of things that we can’t understand,” he explained. “And I’m not only referring to the difference between the teams on the scoreboard – it was the superiority shown by Bayern overall.”

In the aftermath of that fixture, Barca boss Quique Setien, who had only been in the post since the start of the year, was sacked.

Bayern, meanwhile, went on to claim the European title, first defeating Lyon 3-0 in a semi-final before then edging PSG 1-0 thanks to a Kingsley Coman header in the final.