Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Inter “would not be a drama” for La Liga nor would he immediately solve Serie A’s problems, according to Javier Tebas.
The idea of Messi departing Camp Nou has often appeared fanciful but clashes between the Argentina great and Barca’s board this season have made it seem a much more plausible scenario.
Former Inter president Massimo Moratti said this week that a potential Nerazzurri swoop for Messi is not a “forbidden dream at all”.
Messi leaving would be seen by most as a blow to La Liga as well as Barca, given his standing as one of the greatest players of all time.
But La Liga chief Tebas says the league will always be strong, pointing to Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch from Real Madrid to Juventus as proof, while he claimed Italian football would not be fixed purely by Messi’s arrival.
“I do not think that the arrival of Messi can solve the problems of Serie A, which are linked to the bad relationship between debts, high and insufficient collections,” Tebas said on a video conference with reporters.
“Serie A’s figures are stressed, and these economic problems certainly are not solved by Leo Messi.
“I would like Messi to stay here, but if he leaves it would not be a drama.
“It was said that without Cristiano Ronaldo the league would have lost money, and instead we would have earned it, even in Portugal. Players help but are not essential to a championship.”
Tebas’ stance on Messi marks a dramatic shift from comments he made at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
He told Marca back in August, with speculation linking Barca with a move to bring Brazil international back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain: “Yes, of course [I’d like Neymar to return].
“With his qualities he’s in the top three players in the world. It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn’t be defining for the Spanish league.
“The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.
“A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he’s not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was.
“Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he’s the heritage of La Liga.”