Brazil and FC Barcelona legend Rivaldo has some strong opinions about Lionel Messi's future. Following Barcelona's devastating defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16 of the UEFA Champions League, Rivaldo thinks that Messi will be leaving the club this summer. Furthermore, he thinks that the Argentine's destination is PSG, the very same team that had just humiliated his current club.
On Tuesday, PSG came away with a 4-1 victory against the Catalan giants. It's not looking optimistic for a Barcelona comeback, and the loss may very well drive Messi to make a decision about his contract.
"This heavy defeat against PSG will almost certainly be Messi's last Champions League game with Barcelona at the Camp Nou," Rivaldo said, as quoted by Marca.
It may be remembered that Barcelona's devastating 2-8 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last season proved to be a turning point for Messi as well. The entire club went into crisis after that loss, and numerous changes had to be made. The coach was sacked, players have been sold and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has since resigned. Messi himself had expressed his desire to leave last summer, and was only stopped by his massive release clause.
Rivaldo is convinced that Messi will be looking for a club that has a better chance of giving him more trophies. Right now, the Brazilian thinks that Messi will not be able to save Barcelona in its current state. With not so many years left in his career, rebuilding the club won't be the kind of endeavour he will be keen on pursuing. Hence, a move to PSG seems like a more feasible choice.
Messi's contract expires in June, and the club has yet to offer an extension. A lot will depend on the elections for club president which will take place in March. The new president will then make a decision about the direction the club will be taking moving forward.
The big question is, will Messi still be the central figure, or will Barcelona finally be looking at a different direction? It all remains to be seen in the coming months.