Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas has given his word that Lionel Messi will get the chance to bid a proper farewell to Barcelona in the coming years.
The Argentine icon spent over 20 years in Catalonia, after joining the Blaugrana at the tender age of 13- before blossoming into one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. However, his storied tenure with the club came to a tumultuous and emotional end in 2021.
In a move that shook football, the legendary forward was forced into an emotional farewell to the Camp Nou amid financial issues at the heart of the club. The seven-time Ballon d’Or victor would instead reunite with Neymar Jr at Paris Saint-Germain, spending two seasons in the French capital.
However, now the dust has very much settled on one of the most surprising transfers in recent memory, it seems that there is real desire for rapprochement on both sides. Now it appears that the powers-that-be at his current club Inter Miami are eager to ensure he gets the farewell he so desires from the club of his heart.
The co-owner of the MLS outfit Jorge Mas has committed to trying to facilitate a possible exhibition match between Miami and Barcelona in the future. Of course, the La Liga giants play their famous Joan Gamper Trophy annually and it seems there may be an opportunity for the two teams to face off next year.
With Barca currently playing at the city’s Olympic Stadium while their hallowed home ground is renovated, a friendly tribute game may be the perfect way to re-open Camp Nou. Speaking on the prospect, Mas was unequivocal in his reponse when speaking to MARCA, saying: “Messi’s departure from Barcelona [in 2021] was not to his liking.
He could not say goodbye to his club, which welcomed him as a child, and I think the circumstances were not what Lionel wanted.” [We] will do everything possible in the coming years so that he has the opportunity to say goodbye to his fans in Barcelona.”
Seemingly putting plans for the reunion at the top of his agenda, the Floridan billionaire tycoon added: “Inter Miami will go [there] or we will play some kind of game.”
The Floridan businessman also told El Club del Deportista of his delight at the response Messi has received since making his landmark move stateside, calling it “extraordinary”. Speaking about the rock star-like reaction his adoring US fan have afforded him, he added: “MLS is different. Every time we play away from home the stadiums are full.
“The reception for Lionel has been extraordinary. The game in New York, with almost 30,000 fans, 80 per cent of them shouting Messi’s name, there were Argentina shirts and pink Inter Miami shirts.
“I was shocked, I didn’t expect that. To see the impact Lionel has had, how he is raising the interest in the league and how the world now sets its eyes on the American league. There will be a before and after Messi’s arrival in MLS.”