Social media has been flooded with memes ever since Lionel Messi announced he will stay in Barcelona, because of the $823 million buyout clause in his contract. There was a way to leave the club – via a court battle, something Messi said he can't do, because he loves Barcelona and is grateful for everything that the club has given him over the years.
The athlete's statement undoubtedly made millions of Barcelona's fans happy, who were on egde for days following the athlete's shock announcement about his desire to leave the team
However, other football fans were upset and angered that Messi had decided to stay in Barcelona,
Many felt that one of the best football players in the history of the game is being kept prisoner by the Catalan club.
Lol— H🏆³⁴⚪ (@Hassan__RMA_) September 5, 2020
Messi wants to leave and he is not happy because he is stuck in jail pic.twitter.com/JTXKdsK6JR
Cristiano Ronaldo's fans used the situation to tease Messi, saying the athlete gave in to pressure and reiterated that Ronaldo is a better player than the Argentine.
When Ronaldo asked to leave Manchester United in 2008, he went on to win a Premier League, Football League Cup, and a UCL final appearance meanwhile when Messi asked to leave Barcelona, he went on to have a trophyless season. We are not the same!!! pic.twitter.com/eEXDiIIYZa— Lakersalltheway (@Lakersallthewa3) September 4, 2020
Your Goat Messi is scared of leaving, he knows he can't win anything outside La Liga.— Uncle Chu #StopSouthernKadunakillings (@chubiei) September 4, 2020
Ronaldo has won 7 different league titles.
I know my GOAT pic.twitter.com/uP7eixU7wJ
Other netizens said that although Barcelona's management, including club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, managed to make Messi stay this was a pyrrhic victory, which will affect the team and its leadership's image.
Can’t imagine something worse than supporting that ex club. MEMELONA pic.twitter.com/CzmjV8Btt4— Ismael G (@IM_ggo) September 5, 2020
When Bartomeu sees Messi at the training center pic.twitter.com/xe3fimLcgw— Jojo (@Jojo4891624) September 5, 2020
Many users said they were not surprised by Messi's decision as the athlete has a history of making statements and then changing his mind.
We all knew this was coming pic.twitter.com/uBxUDQWkA9— Footyballer (@Shoeb_Mohd1) September 4, 2020
No...really...wow who’d have thought of it pic.twitter.com/Q43UY8hm3d— Andy Lane (@andylane1967) September 4, 2020
Others accused Messi of using the transfer saga to get more money and Barcelona of trying to make people forget about their recent humiliating loss in the Champions League.
Absolute smoke screen form day one 😉 all about the pic.twitter.com/aanx920fs7— mark sams (@sambogod9) September 4, 2020
Messi’s contract expires in the summer of 2021. Rumours say the athlete may leave the club as a free agent and join any club. Sports pundits criticised the actions of Barcelona saying that the club should have let Messi leave, noting that there will be no use for a player, who no longer wishes to perform for the club.