Talk of Lionel Messi returning to hometown club Newell’s Old Boys before retirement has been the topic of conversation for years but the possibility has once more made headlines after the Rosario club’s vice-president, Cristian D’Amico told reporters he remains hopeful of a deal.
Messi was with Newell’s as a child before leaving to join Barcelona’s famed Masía academy at thirteen but has hinted that he would like to end his career at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
“I am convinced, like many of my peers, we can make history as a club if we get the best player in the world in a Newell’s shirt,” D’Amico told FourFourTwo.
“I think we’re going to get the pleasure of Messi wearing the shirt. It would be revolutionary.
“Imagine a game with Messi in the Coloso [Estadio Marcelo Bielsa], with the press around the world, the sponsors who would come… that would make a difference and economically, apart from the sentimental value, it could make a big difference to cleaning up the debts.”
Newell’s and Argentine football in general are in a mess financially at present and with Messi’s obvious recent issues with the AFA, there is a feeling that much would need to change before the five-time Ballon d’Or winner agreed to such a move.
However, Messi has stated previously that he is open to the possibility and were he to finish his career anywhere in Argentina it would be Newell’s.
Close friend Sergio Agüero has made this promise to his boyhood club Independiente and El Rojo are hopeful of bringing back the Manchester City striker after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Messi’s current deal with Barcelona also ends in 2018 but an extension up until 2021 appears likely.