Agusti Benedito, a pre-candidate for Barcelona‘s forthcoming presidential elections scheduled for January 24th, has been speaking about his negative feelings regarding Lionel Messi‘s future in Catalonia in comments carried by Diario Sport.
Benedito was today presenting his electoral program, chief to which was the importance of reducing the club’s expenses by €200m. Messi won’t be included in any cost-cutting measure, however. For Benedito, he’s simply too important.
“We have to have a franchise player because of how the industry itself works,” he said. “Sometimes the player with the highest salary is the one who works out the cheapest. You have to have such a player and this reduction in the salary bill will always have an exception, which is the franchise player.”
Benedito was clear in shifting the responsibility for deciding Messi’s future onto the Argentine himself. “He’s a player who’s spent more than 20 years at the club and loves Barcelona. I don’t see another like him.”
Despite his stated admiration, however, Benedito revealed he’s not entirely hopeful that Messi’s future lies at Camp Nou. “I’m very pessimistic about Messi’s future,” he said. “I would have liked him to say in the interview with Evole that he would be excited to stay but he did not say so. We’ll have to see. The best news would be for him to stay.”
Messi sat out Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Eibar on Tuesday evening, a result that could leave them ten points off the pace if league leaders Atletico Madrid beat Getafe tonight. The Argentine was nursing a knee complaint and had just returned from an extended Christmas break in Argentina.