Barcelona respond to reports Lionel Messi could rejoin the club for just one match

Barcelona respond to reports Lionel Messi could rejoin the club for just one match

Barcelona have responded to reports that Lionel Messi could return to the club on a one-match deal.

Messi left the Spanish giants in 2021, ending a 21-year association with the club, after they were unable to register his new contract with La Liga due to financial issues.

After a two-year spell with PSG, he joined Inter Miami after the expiry of his contract.

Messi helped Inter Miami to the 2023 Leagues Cup after a month of his arrival in the United States, and will look to push the club towards becoming challengers in the MLS alongside fellow new signings Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

He will embark on a busy pre-season schedule with his new side, which will see them take on Messi's boyhood club Newell's Old Boys and Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr in January and February respectively.

There have been reports that Barcelona are looking to bring him back to the club - but not in a traditional sense.

Instead, an exhibition match is reportedly being planned that would effectively act as a farewell for the Argentinian great, given the abrupt manner of his departure on a free transfer in 2021.

That's according to Football Transfers, who claimed that the match is being planned for November 29, 2024, to coincide with the club's 125th anniversary. Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are among the players who have been linked with taking part.

Now, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has responded to the reports that the club want to bring Messi back for a special match.

He told Spanish outlet EFE: "We are open to doing it whenever he wants.

"Messi is the best player in history, and because we respect and adore him, he, of course, deserves to be honoured in Barcelona.

"I do not know whether Messi will be honoured when we return to Spotify Camp Nou at the end of 2024 or when the stadium is completely built by June 2026."

When asked about rumours surrounding a potential short-term loan bid for Messi during the MLS season break, Laporta stated: "I believe that this is not even allowed by FIFA."
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