Lionel Messi: Former Barcelona star's 2019 speech proves he knew club was in trouble

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Lionel Messi was deeply emotional as he said goodbye to Barcelona in the summer, but a part of him must appreciate finally being out of the mess.

From their financial woes to their form on the pitch, the Catalan outfit are in a dire situation. Messi helped paper over the cracks but they've been laid bare for the world to see since his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 34-year-old hasn't exactly hit the ground running in Paris, but it must be a whole lot better than carrying an entire club.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman hasn't even tried to hide the fact that Messi is missed, saying in a recent interview with Voetbal Internacional, per AS: "Messi has disguised everything."

The Dutchman added: "Of course he had good players around him, but he made a difference. Thanks to him, everything looked better. This is not a criticism, but an observation.”

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Messi knew Barcelona were in trouble

Messi's loyalty to Barcelona remained despite the club's issues. They finished third in La Liga last season and endured an awful Champions League campaign, yet he was still willing to sign a new contract to stay at the club.

However, his speech in 2019, ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, proves that he was aware of Barcelona's vulnerable situation.

The Argentinian addressed the Camp Nou crowd ahead of the annual Joan Gamper Trophy.

Fresh off their La Liga triumph in the previous campaign, Messi told fans that while it might be difficult to appreciate their success in the moment, in time winning the Spanish title - their eighth win in 11 years - would be considered an outstanding achievement considering how difficult it was to do.

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"I think we should value the La Liga we have won. The eighth league title in 11 years," Messi says.

"The achievement that would be enormous for any club in the world and for us too. We've achieved something very important here.

"We might not be able to appreciate its value right now, but in a few years time we'll realise how difficult it was to win what we won."

Yeah, no kidding. Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed in August that the club's debt has reached £1.15 billion, and the Blaugrana's transfer business in recent years has been woeful.

Indeed, ahead of the 2018/19 season, the one Messi was referring to, Barcelona spent more than €100m on four new signings - Arthur, Clement Lenglet, Malcom and Arturo Vidal.

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Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

Only one of those four remains at the club.

That title success certainly looks more impressive now than it did two years ago.

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