6 Clubs Lionel Messi Should Join if He Chooses to Leave Barcelona

Lionel Messi is at it again. The man loves Barcelona so much that he is willing to decimate an entire boardroom and backroom staff to keep his place at Camp Nou.

Now that’s true love.

The Argentine magician’s latest victim is Blaugrana legend and former teammate Eric Abidal, who is currently occupying the role of sporting director for the Catalan giants – for now, at least.

Abidal accused the Barça stars of not putting in the hard yards for the departed Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked despite guiding the club to back-to-back league title in the last two seasons.

Lionel Messi

Gee, tough crowd.

Not one to shirk a challenge of status and authority, Messi bit back at Abidal, stating on ​Instagram, “Sincerely, I don’t like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions.” 

Basically, stay in your lane, Eric mate. Meow.

So, let’s pretend for a second that we live in a world where ​Barcelona will opt to keep sporting director Eric Abidal over the third greatest footballer that ever lived, and contemplate the clubs that Messi should join to continue his never-ending legacy.


Let’s be honest, we’ve missed the rivalry between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past 18 months. The pair continue to battle it out over individual trophies and records, but the whole world wants to see them go head-to-head on the pitch as often as possible.

Cristiano Ronaldo

​​Juventus are top of the Serie A table once again, and nearest rivals Inter are inching ever closer to the league leaders in terms of star quality on the pitch. 

Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen are hoping to fire ​I Nerazzurri to long-awaited title success, but if they fail, who better than Messi to step in and end Ronaldo’s monopoly in Italy?

Let battle recommence. 

Manchester City 

Time for a plucky underdog story. This brave little club has slowly but steadily built its way up to becoming a serious challenger for the Champions League trophy, but alas, they have fallen just short of the mark on numerous occasions.

Pep Guardiola literally worships our main man Messi, and ​Manchester City could probably scrape together the pennies to pay his significant wages. 

Pep Guardiola

And which is the one trophy Messi has been lusting after more than any other in recent years? That’s right – the Champions League. 

It’s very possible that either of these clubs could break their European curse this season and lift the trophy, but with Man City facing ​Real Madrid, and Barça becoming Europe’s bottlers, it seems unlikely. 

Get the band back together Pep, and bring the big trophy home hand-in-hand with Leo.

Borussia Dortmund 

Just as ​Ronaldo joined one of Italy’s underdogs in Juventus two summers ago, Messi could end up at German minnows Bayern Munich. But wouldn’t it be more fun if he actually took on a challenge and signed for the lesser-favoured ​Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund are known for their glorious attacking football, and while their defending leaves a lot to be desired, the sheer volume of goals they score more than makes up for it. 


A forward line of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and ​Lionel Messi would simply bring tears of joy to our eyes. The Barça legend could help Der BVB break ​Bayern’s domestic stranglehold, and show Ronaldo just how it’s done. 

Newell’s Old Boys 

Nothing like a romantic return home to end the perfect fairytale. Newell’s Old Boys was the club where Messi spent his early years learning his trade, and the Argentine side were also his boyhood team. 

Newell's Old Boys v River Plate - Superliga 2019/20

The superstar left Argentina to make his name in Europe, and with that, he was gone from the South American shores forever. 

But, what about a dramatic return to see out his career at the team who made him fall in love with the sport in the first place? 

Now that’s a happy ending. 


Have you ever wondered what would happen if you trapped a superstar at a rubbish team on Football Manager and simulated a decade or two? Well, online experiments have shown that the lucky club tends to do pretty well, despite the fodder around our chosen case study. 

So, what if Messi decides he’s bored of the heights of top-flight football, and joins current bottom-of-League-Two side Stevenage, in an attempt to put this theoretical test into practice? 

Lionel Messi

The 32-year-old could easily dedicate another decade to the Boro, and could propel the minnows to safety, then promotion, then to history.

It would be exciting to see how much he could achieve during the final years of his playing career – and not a waste at all…

Any Championship Team Except Stoke City 

“Yeah, Messi has won a million Ballons d’Or and scored ten thousand professional goals, but could he do it on a cold, wet, windy Tuesday night in Stoke?” 

Well, for starters – yes, he could. Secondly, even ​Stoke City can’t do it on a cold, wet, windy Tuesday night in Stoke-on-Trent, so that expression seems somewhat void nowadays. 

But seeing Messi in his late 30s, trotting around the Bet365 Stadium in the rain, helping Wigan Athletic pass Stoke to death is apparently the ultimate trial by fire in the football world. 

Let’s get the answer to this once and for all.