Messi not essential to LaLiga and it will go on without him just as it did without Cristiano Ronaldo, says league chief – The Sun

SPANISH football president Javier Tebas claims Lionel Messi’s potential Barcelona exit would not be a blow to LaLiga.

Inter Milan have been tipped to pull off an audacious move for the Argentine superstar by their former chief Massimo Moratti.

Messi, 32, is currently at odds with the Barca board after cutting his wages by 70 per cent to help support non-playing staff during the coronavirus crisis.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner also had a public spat with director Eric Abidal in the wake of Ernesto Valverde’s sacking earlier this season.

And with just over a year remaining on his contract, there is a feeling Messi could call time on his Catalan career.

He is regarded as one of the best in history, having scored 627 goals in 718 games while winning TEN LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues.

But Tebas is confident LaLiga would survive without Messi, claiming it has already gone from strength to strength after Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock move from Real Madrid to Juventus two years ago.

He said: “I do not think that the arrival of Messi can solve the problems of Serie A, which are linked to the bad relationship between high debts and insufficient collections.

“Serie A figures are stressed and these economic problems are certainly not solved by Messi.

“I would like Messi to stay here but if he leaves it would not be a drama.

“It was said that without Ronaldo, La Liga would have lost money.

“But instead we have earned more, even in Portugal.

“Players help but are not essential to a championship.”

It now remains to be seen if Inter do move for Messi after they triggered his £132million release clause in 2006 when he was just 18 years old.

Former Inter president Moratti said: “I don’t believe Messi is a forbidden dream at all.

“Maybe it never was even before all this [coronavirus] misfortune.

“He is in the final stretch of his contract and, without doubt, it would take a tremendous effort to bring him here.

“I don’t know if the current situation changes anything for better or for worse.”

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