‘Now we know why he wanted to leave’: Gary Lineker pokes fun at Barcelona as Lionel Messi models their striking PINK kit after dramatic U-turn as fans claim image is ‘photoshopped because he wouldn’t smile’
- Barcelona have revealed their new pink third kit, modelled by Lionel Messi
- The Argentine superstar has decided to stay at the club in a dramatic U-turn
- Gary Lineker teased his former side by poking fun at the striking jersey
- Many fans have claimed the photo of Messi wearing in the kit is photoshopped
Barcelona have been quick to capitilise on Lionel Messi pledging his immediate future to the club as he modelled their new third kit.
The Argentine superstar looked certain to leave his boyhood club for Manchester City this summer after informing them via tax that he wanted out. But after weeks of talks with the club and a legal battle looming, the 33-year-old said he would stay for another season, reluctant to take the club to court over a dispute around his supposed £630million release clause.
Now the club have unveiled their new design for the upcoming season – a striking pink strip – and posted a photo of Messi wearing it, simply writing the player’s name and an emoji of a goat.
Lionel Messi has modelled Barcelona’s pink third kit after revealing he would stay with the club
Gary Lineker teased his former club Barcelona after they revealed their new pink kit design
Last week Messi shocked the world by announcing a shock U-turn on his decision to leave
Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker, who played at the Nou Camp for three years in the 1980s, was the first big name to react to the superstar wearing the new kit.
He said: ‘Now we know why Messi wanted to leave,’ and included a winking emoji.
Messi appears to be in good spirits in the photo, smiling in the kit on a black background with diagonal turquoise and pink lights flashing behind him.
The shirt is predominantly pink with faint pin-stripes on the body of the kit. The sleeve trim is black, as well as the logos, and the edges of the collar.
But the kit, made by Nike, uses turquoise for the centre of the collar – matching the club’s badge.
Despite the club unveiling an unusual design, fans were more fixated on Messi’s presence in the photoshoot, with some even claiming the image might be photoshopped because of his desire to leave the club.
‘They used photoshop because he wouldn’t smile,’ said one supporter, while another mocked the club’s use of the term ‘goat, by responding: ‘Our GOAT looks like he was forcing the smile during the shoot.’
One fan did take issue with the kit itself, and agreed with Lineker that it might make Messi want to leave.
They said: ‘If I was being made to wear that, I’d want to leave the club too. Shocker! Another ‘fashion’ not football shirt!’
Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati also showed off the new kit, which features a turquoise detail
Barcelona previously had a pink away kit. modelled by Phillippe Coutinho, in 2014-15 season
Barca boss Ronald Koeman is hoping to put aside a difficult spell with Messi now set to stay put
Other stars such as Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong were also used in the promotion for the new shirt, with Ronald Koeman looking to lead the club into a new era.
He will be able to count on Messi in this campaign but the team is set for an overhaul, with Ivan Rakitic already leaving for Sevilla and several big names, including Gerard Pique and Luis Suare – linked with an exit.
This is not the first time Barcelona have unveiled a pink kit. In their 2018-19 third kit, players were seen in a light-pink shirt with a diagonal split across the front – with a darker shade on the other side.
The club also had a pink third kit in 2014-15 and then back in 1990 – which had a vertical blue stripe coming down the body.
You can buy the new kit on the club’s official website, with the most expensive shirt – featuring Messi on the back and Champions League logos, costing an eye-watering £160.
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