Lionel Messi receives transfer lifeline from former Barcelona teammate

Lionel Messi of Argentina kicks the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification match between Ecuador and Argentina at Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha on March 29, 2022 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Lionel Messi has not enjoyed an entirely happy time at Paris Saint-Germain since his high-profile summer transfer from Barcelona last year.

The Argentine has netted just two domestic goals across 19 appearances since his move to the French capital this summer. Recent reports have indicated that Messi is unhappy in Paris as he has failed to settle in the city and at the club for multiple reasons, with the potential of cutting short his two-year contract at the club.

Talk of Messi returning to Barcelona has subsequently been talked up by the club’s president Joan Laporta. However, the Blaugrana chief has recently performed a u-turn on this stance by pouring cold water on such suggestions and claiming that there had been no contact between the two in recent months.

Yet there is little doubt that Messi would be welcomed back with open arms in the Camp Nou dressing room, where there are multiple players who played alongside him for years. One of the most prominent former teammates is Sergio Busquets, who was Messi’s teammates for over a decade.

Busquets has spoken to Catalan radio station RAC1 about Messi’s exit from the club last summer, which he admitted came as a huge shock to the players: Of course I miss him. On the field and off it too. What he gave was very easy with him. What he did, no one else could do. It made a huge difference. After so many years it's normal that I miss him I'm sure I will also be missed.

The experienced central midfielder continued: At first it was difficult. For us players it was also a shock. We are still here at the club, but imagine how shocking it must have been for him. To change his city, his team, his style...when you do not win, you are not happy. But I wish him the best.

Busquets was then pushed on whether Messi would be welcomed back at the Blaugrana: Yes, I would like Leo to come back, but I know it's very difficult. He has a contract, how did this all come about...if Xavi told him that his doors are open, imagine that I'm his friend and teammate. I would give him the captaincy. I will always my admiration and respect.

Messi landed a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or title in November by scooping the 2021 accolade before ranking second behind Robert Lewandowski in the 2021 FIFA Best Men's Player awards earlier this year. 

He is Barca’s all-time record appearance holder while not only is he the club’s highest ever scorer, but he scored more at Barca than the second highest, third highest and fourth highest combined.

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