Lionel Messi needs no introduction. He's the biggest soccer star in the world, arguably the best player in history, and a global icon. He's also only played for one team, Barcelona, over the entire course of his career. That could all change this summer. Messi has the option to leave his Catalan side and sign with whatever club he wants to. Should he choose to exercise that option, some of the biggest destinations in the world are likely to come calling. So, will Messi stay at Barcelona or choose a new home, somewhere like Manchester City or PSG. We'll find out over the next couple of months.
The latest Messi transfer rumors
- April 28, 2021: Lionel Messi buys a place in Miami. While MLS likely won't be Messi's next stop should he leave Barcelona, eventually it's an option for him as he winds down his career. Whether he'd come to Inter Miami, or a club like NYCFC, which shares an owner with Manchester City, remains to be seen.
- April 28, 2021: PSG are reportedly prepared to offer Messi a massive two year deal. The French side are confident that very few clubs in the world can match the size of the money truck they're prepared to offer to the Argentine superstar.
Lionel Messi: Numbers to know
There have been books upon books written about Lionel Messi over the course of his career. So let's just focus on this last year where Lionel Messi has remained...really really really good.
- 21 goals, 20.78 expected goals, 174 shots, 84 shots on target: Messi leads La Liga in all those categories
- 0.88 goals per 90, 0.70 xG per 90, 5.88 shots per 90, 2.81 shots on target per 90: Messi leads La Liga in all those categories
- 0.39 expected assists per 90: Messi, you guessed it, leads the league. The fact that he doesn't lead in the league in assists, he's "only" third with nine, one off the pace, is because his teammates have let him down at various points over the season.
- 58.9% of open play shots in the box: If you want to find a slightly concerning number this would be it. Messi is taking fewer of his shots from inside the box than at anytime since at least 2008-2009, the earliest season we have data far. He's become a long distance gunner, and it's working, but it's still very different from what his game used to look like.
Transfer risk factor
Lionel Messi is 33 years old. He will turn 34 this summer. His game is already shifting to accommodate his age. He wants, and will surely command, extraordinary sums of money. Eventually he'll stop being the best player in the world, and when that happens whoever signs him will still be paying him the GDP of a small country. Is it worth it? For the teams that can afford him probably. Will it be worth it in five years? That's a much tougher question to answer.