Barcelona chief Deco claims Inter Miami star Lionel Messi ‘will DEFINITELY’ return to the Nou Camp as he hails the World Cup winner as ‘the greatest idol in club history’
- Messi’s farewell match at the Camp Nou would come after its renovations finish
- Barcelona is currently playing their games at the 1992 Summer Olympic stadium
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
FC Barcelona sporting director Deco believes that Lionel Messi will eventually one day return to the Camp Nou for a farewell game before he retires.
Messi departed the club in 2021 after Barcelona fell into financial hardship – with the team unable to even register the player.
He played for two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain before eventually moving to Inter Miami this summer.
Deco says that the Argentina captain will play at a refurbished and renovated Nou Camp at some point in the next few seasons.
However, there is no set timeline for the man Deco described as the club’s ‘greatest idol’ to step onto the pitch again.
Barcelona sporting director Deco believes that Lionel Messi will play a farewell match
Messi, arguably Barcelona’s greatest ever player, left the club back in the summer of 2021
After two seasons in Paris, he made the jump across the pond this summer to Inter Miami
‘[Messi] will definitely play a farewell game at Barcelona, but when that will be, we don’t know,’ Deco told Brazilian outlet Lance.
‘He will always be the greatest idol in the club’s history. The club had great idols, like [Johan] Cruyff, Ronaldo, but he is perhaps the greatest of all.’
According to the club’s president, Joan Laporta, Messi’s farewell match could happen in November of 2024. Some reports say that they’ll hope to combine the re-opening of the Camp Nou with Messi’s last game there.
But by November 2024, the stadium is still projected to be under renovation – with the expectation being that it will be under construction until the 2025-26 season. But it might be safe enough to re-open for play.
Laporta told Catalunya Radio: ‘It would be fantastic if he could be part of the Spotify Camp Nou re-opening.
‘It will be finished in June 2026 but we will be back in November 2024 and that could also be a good date. We’re going to see. We would like it to happen and I hope it does.’
Barcelona is currently playing in the city’s stadium used for the 1992 Summer Olympics – the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys – while that construction is being completed.
Across his career with the Catalan club, Messi scored 672 goals and 303 assists in 778 appearances – capturing 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, and won the Champions League four times.
Barca president Joan Laporta hopes Messi’s farewell coincides with a re-opened Nou Camp
Deco says Messi’s move to the US was in the works and that ‘you can see that he is happy’
But after his tenure in Paris ended this year, he decided to take his talents to South Beach and MLS – to play with Inter Miami.
Deco added: ‘I’ve been friends with Leo for a long time. The issue of him going to the United States was something that had been planned for a long time.
‘He already mentioned this idea way back. What changed were those two years at PSG…
‘I wasn’t in the conversations [about Messi’s return]. Obviously, Messi is one of the greatest idols in the club’s history.
‘He’s happy now and that’s what I think he had to look for in his career.
‘About returning to Barcelona, it would have been something spectacular, as he is the greatest player in history, but things ended up happening like this and you can see that he is happy. That’s what matters most.’
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