The Argentine legend and FC Barcelona’s star player Lionel Messi’s departure from the Spanish club was officially announced on Thursday. Messi will be leaving the club after a stint of 21 years.
Messi joined the ‘La Masia’ in the year 2000 and was given his senior debut just at the age of 16 in 2003 where he went on to score 672 goals and 305 assists in 778 games for the club, winning the champions league, La Liga, Spanish domestic cup, Spanish Super Cup and also winning the Ballon d’Or six times which is more than any other player in the world.
There’s no uncertainty about Messi been regarded as one of the best players of all time and him leaving the Spanish football club as confirmed by FC Barcelona on Thursday, will majorly affect Barcelona’s squad and also the market value of La Liga.
While speaking about the tendencies of Messi leaving Barcelona last year, the managing director of La Liga India, Jose Antonio Cachaza, said, “When Cristiano left, in terms of competition it was a relevant loss but in terms of the growth of the business and the audience, there was no impact. When the Lionel Messi-La Liga football days end, hopefully, there will not be much impact. I remember my chairman Javier Tebas’s words that the leaving of Cristiano had no impact at all but Messi’s could be a little bit more relevant. We know what fans watch and the presence of Messi made Barca the most watched team from La Liga in Asia. His exit could probably have an impact on La Liga but we do hope we could overcome that impact. Let us not forget, when his contract finishes next year, he will be 34. Basically, his best years are almost gone.”
Messi attracts massive viewership from all over the world and many people support Barcelona just to watch the 34-year-old play and his exit from the competition would affect the viewership of the league. There’s no doubt that La Liga still has many star players in their possession but Messi’s blow will be a tough one to handle.
According to Transfermarkt, while heading into the La Liga season of 2020/21, Barcelona had the highest squad value of €878.70m, with an average value of €30.30m per player. The reason behind such numbers is undoubtedly the Argentine superstar and his absence will be felt in the Spanish top-flight.
Being the face of La Liga for many years now, Messi’s departure is sure to hit the market value of the Spanish league in a very noticeable manner.