Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who is now standing for a second term as Barca president, gave an interview to 'RAC1' last weekend. He talked about his friend Leo Messi's huge contract being leaked to Spanish newspaper 'El Mundo'.
"I'll do everything possible so that he stay. I've indications that he's good in Barcelona, he wants to stay and he needs to trust a sporting project," he said. At the same time, he sent him a message of encouragement after the leak.
"I sent him a message to cheer him up and I told him not to take any notice of this news and that all Barca fans want him to stay. I will not say whether he replied to me or not," Laporta continued.
Laporta then went on to analyse the importance of the Argentine to Barca despite promising he would not do that. "Barca's situation has not come about because of Messi's contract. Messi generates more income than expenditure. We've made a study and he generates around a third of all of Barca's income."
"It's not only the financial benefit, but also the psychological and sporting one. As well as the Champions League, his goals, the 2-6 win at the Bernabeu, showing his shirt at Real Madrid's ground and the global repercussion he has, opponents are scared of him," Laporta said. "From 2004 to 2019, we've won 35 titles and Real Madrid 22. That is largely thanks to Leo Messi. Without him, we wouldn't have won as much."
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