Messi for life! Barcelona presidential candidate reveals Michael Jordan-style deal he planned for star

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Barcelona saw Lionel Messi join Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in 2021 after failing to find the funds required to put a new contract in place, but Victor Font says things would have been different had he beaten Joan Laporta in the club’s presidential election.

A familiar face was returned to office at Camp Nou, but Font claims that he would have delivered a “lifetime agreement” with the Argentine superstar and developed a brand similar to that which keeps NBA legend Michael Jordan relevant long after his playing days ended.

Font claims he would have managed mounting debts in Catalunya, allowing the services of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to be retained while creating ties between player and club that would never have been broken.

Could Barcelona have done a deal to keep Messi?

Messi bid a tearful farewell to Barca once it became apparent Laporta and co could not deliver fresh terms within strict budgets, but Font claims he would have got a deal over the line.

He told La Vanguardia: “Our plan to save Messi was different - reduce salary mass and losses the first year and propose a lifetime agreement.

“The other day I read that the Jordan brand developed at Nike has exceeded $5 billion in revenue this year. Jordan will charge $150m in one year, more than any current figure in the NBA and more than when he played.

“We went beyond conventional renovation. Surely Messi would have liked it because he strengthened his bond with Barca. Today it is urgent to re-establish that link.”

Will Messi return to Barcelona?

The 35-year-old still has another year left to run on his contract at PSG, with the hope being that he will make more of an impact during his second season in France than he did during his 11-goal debut campaign.

Another new challenge, potentially in MLS, has been mooted for Messi once his deal at Parc des Princes comes to a close.

A retracing of steps to Catalunya is however expected to take place at some stage, with Barca having made it clear that there will always be a role for him at their institution.

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