Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernandez has said that he wants a Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi, back to the country to end his career playing for his boyhood club.
Speaking on Argentinean TV channel C5N, Fernandez said in a message directed at Messi: “You are in our hearts and we have never seen you play in our country.
“Give us the pleasure of ending your career with Newell’s Old Boys, your club.”
President Fernandez also admitted his firm admiration for the country’s legend, Diego Maradona more than Messi due to the fact Maradona graduated from the team he supports, Argentinos Junior.
He said: “The great merit of Maradona is that he played alone against the world.
“I’ve never seen a player like Maradona.
“I admire him deeply – more than Messi, to be honest, because he comes from the Argentinos’ youth.
“He was a kind of gladiator, with incredible strength.”
The Mirror reported that Newell’s fans held a spectacular parade on the streets of Rosario on Thursday in the hope of showing Messi how much it would mean for them for him to move to the club.
Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona he wants to “unilaterally” terminate his contract with the Spanish giants, a club source confirmed.
Lawyers for the Argentina star sent Barca a fax in which they announced Messi’s desire to rescind his contract by triggering a release clause, sending shockwaves throughout the world of football.
However, the club maintains that the clause expired in June and that he remains under contract until the end of the 2021 season.
“In principal, this clause expired on June 10, but the unusual nature of this season disrupted by the coronavirus opened the way for Messi to ask to be released from his contract now,” wrote Spanish sports daily Marca.
“It’s the first step towards opening negotiations over his departure, on the basis of which his release clause amounts to 700 million euros.”
Messi joined Barca’s youth academy at the age of 13 and made his debut for Barca in 2004 as a 17-year-old.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is the club’s record scorer with 634 goals and has won the Champions League four times.
But his future at Barca was thrown into doubt following a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon.
The humbling defeat sparked drastic changes within the club.
Coach Quique Setien was sacked after barely six months in charge while sporting director Eric Abidal was also dismissed after Barca’s first season without a trophy since 2007.
Argentine sports daily Ole described Messi’s wish to leave as a “complete bombshell”, but the Argentine has had regular disagreements with the club’s board in recent times.