Barcelona made a mistake by not selling Messi – Rivaldo


Brazil legend, Rivaldo, has blamed Barcelona for not using Real Madrid’s sale of Cristiano Ronaldo as inspiration and offloaded Lionel Messi.

Rivaldo believes that Barca should have sold Messi during the summer of 2020, with the Catalan giants now expected to seek out a buyer for Philippe Coutinho as they endeavour to raise funds.

Barcelona’s latest annual report showed that they are crippled by debts of €1.2 billion (£1.1b/$1.5b), meaning that it would be difficult for them to sign new top players.

Rivaldo said that Barca would not have entered the financial crisis had the demands of Messi been met during the last transfer window.

The 33-year-old saw a push for the exits blocked off and, with no fresh terms agreed; he is now heading towards free agency as his contract runs down.

Real Madrid sold Ronaldo to Juventus for €100 million (£88m/$121m) in 2018 proving that big money can be generated by ageing stars with multiple Ballons d’Or awards to their name.

“Barcelona were not in good financial health pre-pandemic, but things got nasty in the last year and beyond Lionel Messi’s almost inevitable departure, the club may need to sell some more important players to generate income,” Barca icon Rivaldo told Betfair.

“As I mentioned previously, the club’s board made a mistake by not selling Lionel Messi while he was still under contract, something Real Madrid did with Cristiano Ronaldo, receiving around €100m in exchange.

“It’s sad to see such a talented and valuable player leaving Barca for free when the club is going through so many financial problems.

“But looking at potential transfers that might occur, I think Phillipe Coutinho’s time may be coming to an end.

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