His time at Barca is over, now it's time for Messi to do the noble thing 2 months ago

His time at Barca is over, now it's time for Messi to do the noble thing

The day we never imagined has come

Lionel Messi has asked to leave FC Barcelona, the club where he made his legend and where he helped enhance theirs. After 19 years, hundreds of appearances and more than 600 goals, the Argentine wizard has told the board at Camp Nou that now is the time to leave.

He is unhappy with where the club is, and where it appears to be heading, he is unhappy with the board and what has happened to the club over the past five years.

The club has confirmed his desire to leave, and now remains the question of where the 33-year-old will end up. Since Barca's elimination from the Champions League this month, speculation has whirled around the internet.

Will Messi sign for Manchester City, who will likely meet or even increase his wage demands? Will he go to warmer climes in the form of Inter Milan, a club he's been linked to regularly for no apparent reason?

These rumours, though, ignore the one question mark, the one uncertainty that has hovered over the world's greatest ever footballer for the majority of his career.


Messi has won 10 LaLiga titles. He has captured the Champions League four times. He has been named the Ballon d'Or winner on six occasions.

But in spite of this, there has always been a shadow, an asterisk next to his multitude of achievements.

No, not his international career, even with Argentina he has done more than most could with what has often been a haphazard collection of players.

No, you see, Messi has yet to shake off the claims that he couldn't do it on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke.

Despite his trophy collection, both personal and for his team, we do not know how he would cope with the wind and rain smashing against his face, a world away from the sun-kissed hills of Barcelona.

Could he deal with walking through the players' entrance ahead of an EFL Cup match on an October night while 100 Port Vale fans call him a "short prick"?

How would he cope with an elbow in the back from Richard Keogh, a sliding tackle from Pontus Jansson, or the sound of travelling fans singing, in unison, that he's "just a shite Maradonna"?

Unfortunately, we may never know. That is, unless the Great One decides to do the noble thing, the right thing, and sign for Stoke City and prove, once and for all, that he is the greatest player to ever set foot on a football pitch.