Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona would not be 'a drama' for LaLiga, says Tebas

By Sports Desk April 07, 2020

Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Inter "would not be a drama" for LaLiga 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 LaLiga as well as Barca, given his standing as one of the greatest players of all time.

But LaLiga 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. "

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    Cristiano Ronaldo's anger in defeat provided a lesson for Bruno Guimaraes, even if the Lyon midfielder missed the opportunity to swap shirts with his idol.

    Guimaraes has played just five times for Lyon since his €20million January move from Athletico Paranaense, but the 22-year-old has already made his Champions League bow against Juventus.

    The clash gave the Brazilian the chance to face Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

    Guimaraes came out on top, too, playing the full 90 minutes as Lyon claimed a 1-0 first-leg lead in the last 16, with the return match yet to be played due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ronaldo is "a guy I used to play with on video games", Guimaraes explained to UOL as he recalled an educational experience.

    "We talked in the game in Portuguese," the Lyon man said. "He said it was not a foul, and I said it was a foul.

    "I was going to ask him to swap shirts with him, but he was kind of angry. He's a guy who doesn't like to lose. This is what we have to take as an example; a guy who has won everything [but] hates to lose.

    "I want more and more to have this in my mind, being able to get the good things from these football legends, which is super important."

    Discussing his nerves ahead of the match, Guimaraes said: "I was very nervous and slept badly at night because it was my first Champions League game, as a starter and in the last 16.

    "But I thought to myself: 'If I want to be a great player, this has to be normal in my life. I have to play well against these guys.'

    "I was very focused and I felt like I was playing on the street. Obviously, you are nervous to go on the field and when you are out there you get butterflies.

    "But when the ball rolls, everything is normal. It's 11 against 11."

  • Juventus' attitude despite 'super champion' Ronaldo concerns Di Livio Juventus' attitude despite 'super champion' Ronaldo concerns Di Livio

    Former Juventus star Angelo Di Livio has been concerned by the absence of the Bianconeri's usual "unique mentality" at times this season, but talisman Cristiano Ronaldo escaped criticism.

    With the season suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, Juve are top of Serie A and playing in the last 16 of the Champions League.

    Yet Italy's defending champions have not been entirely convincing this term under Maurizio Sarri, sitting just one point clear of Lazio in the league and trailing Lyon 1-0 after the first leg of their European tie.

    Di Livio, who was part of the last Juve team to win the Champions League in 1995-96, was troubled by their approach to the Lyon game and does not consider them genuine contenders for Europe's top title.

    "Juve are still a long shot from what I have seen this season before COVID," he told Stats Perform News. "They struggled even in Serie A and they have a super Lazio just one point behind them.

    "They are at risk in Serie A as much as in the Champions League against Lyon. They have to come from behind, but I didn't like their approach.

    "Juventus boast a very unique mentality, we all know that. Whoever plays there knows exactly what to do with aggression, grit and love for the shirt.

    "This season they looked a bit prissy, but they still top the league and have a game in hand to topple Lyon."

    Di Livio is at least encouraged by Sarri's recent work at the club, although he was bemused by the departure of previous head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

    "Not many have understood this change at the helm," he said. "You have to respect a winner.

    "I hold Massimiliano Allegri in high esteem because in comparison he looks so similar to Marcello Lippi. He who wins can't be sacked. Allegri was pivotal for that and even for this Juventus.

    "Of course, good luck to Sarri, who has finally understood what it means to manage a club that has to win."

    Ronaldo, Juve's star man, is a role model for his team-mates, according to Di Livio.

    He said: "Cristiano Ronaldo always has to play. You can make him rest once every 15 games. He is admirable and it is proven by all his team-mates who get on so well with him.

    "He is a super champion. He leads by example for his working attitude, his lifestyle, never a problem. Hats off."

  • Mourinho: Tottenham will not spend rivers of money Mourinho: Tottenham will not spend rivers of money

    Jose Mourinho predicted a delayed opening of the transfer window for Premier League clubs and expects there to be a cautious approach to transfer fees out of respect for the global crisis.

    Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League table amid a turbulent 2019-20 season and, should play resume in order to finish the campaign following a break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, supporters will expect improvements.

    Mourinho said his players are keen to return to action but moved to cool any expectations of a bumper transfer window at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    "The first question after that is when will the transfer window be?" Mourinho told Sky Sports. "I don't think it will be in July or August anymore, it has to go further than that.

    "It is normal you are going to have a different market, I don't see the world – especially the football world – ready for some crazy numbers we used to have.

    "I would like my club to be what I know what we will be: sensible, balanced and not going to spend rivers of money. We are trying to respect the situation, not just the football but the situation in the world and society overall."

     

    Tottenham have returned to training following a two-and-a-half-month break and Mourinho said that the club's focus is on the health of his players rather than plans for the transfer window.

    "To be honest in this moment it is the last thing we are thinking," he said.

    "In the club we are not thinking about it. No talks about it, because in this moment we think about safety, following every rule inside of the training ground, we are trying to be perfect, not just in the testing but in everything in the club, we are trying to be perfect.

    "Since the moment Bundesliga started, the Portuguese league and Spanish league announced a date to start, I think it is the most difficult moment for us, because we want to play.

    "It is hard to see other countries playing football and we don't do it."

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