LaLiga chief says Spanish football would cope without Lionel Messi as it did after Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar exits

JAVIER TEBAS believes Spain’s top-flight can survive Lionel Messi's departure should he opt to swap La Liga for another division in Europe.

Reports claim the superstar’s Barcelona future is up in the air due to the club not being able to register new signings after exceeding their wage cap.

The Argentina playmaker is currently out of contract with his most recent Barca deal coming to end on June 30.

The Daily Mail says Barcelona need to slash £160.4million (187m euros) off their salary bill with financial rules for Spain’s top-flight placing a limit on club wages. 

It is reported the Nou Camp giants are currently unable to re-sign Messi, 34, on a two-year deal they hoped to agree with him. 


The forward is due to take on Brazil with his national side in this year's Copa America final.

And although the Argentinian is one of the world’s most famous football stars, Tebas, 58,  believes his exit will not be harmful to the country's top tier. 

The La Liga president said: “Of course we want Messi to stay but when you are running a league you cannot base decisions on individual players or clubs.'

“Ronaldo and Neymar went and we are still here and neither Serie A nor Ligue 1 has grown as they thought it would. 

“Economically the Premier League is the best competition in the world and it has done it without Ballon d'Or winners.

“Of course our rivals will be happy if he (Messi) leaves, but let's see what happens. 

“As far as I know he has not signed for anyone else. 

“Right now he is a lot closer to staying at Barcelona than he is going to another club.”

In March Barcelona were instructed to make huge salary cuts reducing their wage spend from £331million to £300millon. 

And the Catalan juggernauts were reported to be operating beyond that figure even without a new deal offer for Messi.

The demands followed the Covid pandemic having a detrimental effect on the earnings of Spain’s top two tiers. 

Finance firm PwC reported a £1.7 billion (Two million euros) total income shortfall for both divisions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. 

And it is claimed Barcelona, who finished third in La Liga last term, may need to consider selling some of their players in a bid to retain Messi. 

The Argentina captain – regarded as one of the best ever football players – has enjoyed a glittering career at the Nou Camp winning 35 trophies 

Major silverware wins for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner include 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions League medals.

And Barca forward’s previous contract was worth a whopping £2.4m per week – or £123m per year.

It's unthinkable that he (Lionel Messi) could get the same contract at Barcelona and that goes for other clubs

The Mail reports that La Liga regulations oblige clubs who have gone over their wage cap by adhering to a 'one for four' rule. 

This means every euro spent on new contracts or transfer fees must be being balanced by four euros earned from player sales or reduced salaries

However, Tebas is confident that Barcelona and Messi can come to an agreement that fits in with Spanish football’s salary rules.  

Tebas added: 'I still think they will solve their problems. 

“It's unthinkable that he could get the same contract at Barcelona and that goes for other clubs. 

“It would be very difficult for any club in Europe to be able to play that contract. 

'If City have just had losses of 270m euros (£231m) and PSG 240m (£205m) (because of the pandemic) it's clear they cannot pay Messi's contract. 

“If they are able to sign Messi by matching his previous Barca contract, it will be an example of the financial doping that I have been talking about for a long time now.

“Of course we want Messi to stay but when you are running a league you cannot base decisions on individual players or clubs.”

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