After weeks of negotiations and refusing to train, Lionel Messi has now done a huge u-turn and decided to stay at Barcelona!

Two weeks ago, Lionel Messi sent a fax to his club in which he expressed his desire to leave. After nearly 20 years at Barca, he felt the club wasn’t going in the right direction, and he wanted a new challenge. This shocked the footballing world as Messi in the past has said how he wants to spend the rest of his career at Barca.

Is his contract he had an agreement that allows him to leave at the end of the season for free if he wants. However, as this season didn’t end as normal Barca said he wasn’t allowed. They said the only way he can leave is if a club pays his €700 million, which no one is going to do!

Messi’s father came to Barcelona to negotiate with the club, but nothing came of it. Messi’s only choice would be to take Barca to court, in which he said he would never do. So as a result, Messi is now staying at Barca for one more year and then he will leave the club.

So with Messi staying, what does this mean for Barcelona’s trophies chances next season?

La Liga 20/21 – 15/8

Last season, Barca finished five points behind Real Madrid in the league. Barca also didn’t manage to beat Real in the league that season. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t turn it around in the coming season. Realistically there is only going to be one of three winners in the league, which are Barca, Real and Atletico.

Simeone’s side are solid at the back but struggle to score goals. This usually ends up in it being a two-horse race. Real are priced at 8/13 currently so they are the favourites. Barca are looking to unload some players, with Rakitic already out the door and Suarez and Vidal to be next. Now you could say this is damaging but it means new faces have to come in. At 15/8 I think Barca are a good bet. We know it’s going to be Messi’s final season and what a fitting way it would be for him to leave, by winning La Liga.

Champions League 20/21 – 16/1

What many think was the final nail in the coffin for Messi was there 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich. They got to the quarter-finals of this years campaign and were embarrassed by Bayern. Messi did say when he wanted to leave that part of the reason was he wanted to challenge for the Champions League and that he felt he couldn’t at Barca.

However, we all know that Barcelona are capable of going far in the competition. Their squad will get better in this window and with Messi in they why can’t they win it. 16/1 is a very generous price considering they should get out the groups and then in the knockout stages, they have every chance!



£20 RISK FREE FIRST BET



£20 RISK FREE FIRST BET – Place a £20 sportsbook bet. If your FIRST bet is a loser Paddy Power will refund it in cash. Max refund is £20. Plus weekly free bets with Paddy’s Reward Club.



New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org. Please bet responsibly.