Messi departure from Barcelona: Emotional meltdown sweeps sporting world

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The first half of 2021 witnessed some historic and exciting sporting events. Right from Euro 2020 to Tokyo Olympics 2020, sports enthusiasts have had a busy year so far.

However, an emotional meltdown swept the sporting world, especially among the football fans, following the exit of football legend Lionel Messi from the Barcelona football club.

The ‘abrupt’ and ‘unjust’ ending of a 21-year-old relationship with the club, spelt anger, despair and shock among Messi fans across the globe. Bengaluru fans were no different to the heart-breaking news. 

Lionel Messi 

As they recall Messi’s initial days with the club and his significant contribution to Barcelona, football fans in the city are engaged in a range of talking points on social media–from opening a fan club in his name to live screening of Barcelona matches, and giving ‘La Pulga’, a dignified farewell.

Nisarg Vashist, a Barcelona fan, pins the blame on the ex-president of the Barcelona club- Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“Messi’s exit is just because of the corrupt ex-management officials. We were expecting the club to save him, but we were enraged after it failed to retain him. I had plans of travelling to Barcelona and getting a glimpse of his play. Unfortunately, we cannot see him anytime in the Barcelona jersey,” says Vashist.

However, Vashist along with other Messi fans are coming together to pay their tribute to the legendary football player soon.

“We have plans to collaborate with the Pune Barcelona fan club and pay a fitting tribute. I think live streaming Barcelona matches in a pub, playing his documentaries and taking the fans back to some of his best moments at Barcelona, are some of the things I have in mind. If all things go well, we can also set up a museum dedicated to Messi in Bengaluru,” says Vashist.

Another disappointed fan, Nikhil Reddy, underwent an emotional moment after hearing Messi’s exit from Barcelona.

“After hearing the news, I was shocked and it will take at least a month to accept the reality. Seeing him in a different jersey and a different number will be difficult to accept. However, we want to establish an official fan club and start a C division team  in his name under the Karnataka State Football Association,” says Reddy who is also a football player.  

Junaid Ahmed, an IT professional and a football player, who started playing the game after watching the legend, is filled with mixed emotions.

Though, he’s devastated with Messi’s exit, he’s also looking forward to see him play for a new club.

“I am playing football because of him. A lot of people think being short in height is a disadvantage. But Messi proved them wrong. As a Messi fan, I want to create awareness and inspire people with stories of his outstanding performances, grit, hard work, talent and discipline,” says Ahmed.

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