Lionel Messi’s departure for Paris Saint-Germain has “ripped” the soul of Barcelona, said former Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the blaugrana’s heavy defeat in the Champions League against the champions. Bundesliga.
Barça may have avoided another demolition job at the hands of Bayern, who defeated them 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals 13 months ago, but Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat was a crushing accusation of the gap between them and the teams they are likely to challenge for the biggest European club football award this season.
It was the first time since the start of the Opta record (2003-04) that Barça failed to shoot on goal in a Champions League match, and Bayern’s superiority condemned Ronald Koeman’s men for the first time to three consecutive home losses in the competition.
Barcelona’s crippling financial state – which has seen their debts approaching € 1.4 billion – has contributed to a situation where such heavy losses to the European elite are no longer a surprise.
Prior to 2020-21, Barça had only lost two Champions League home games with three or more goals, but it has since happened three times: with Messi no longer there, many would expect their standard to continue to plummet.
Barça have not been able to detain Messi due to salary cap restrictions and Rummenigge sees an empty shell of a club left without him.
Speaking to Bild TV, Rummenigge – who left his role as Bayern CEO earlier this year – said: “When did you watch the team and how they behaved tactically… with Messi [leaving], their souls were torn apart. They are facing difficult times.
They had to let him go, but La Liga scored an own goal with it [his departure]. “
Rummenigge was asked whether bringing Messi to Bayern was ever a possibility, but he pointed out Barça’s financial mismanagement around the six-time Ballon d’Or winner that made his signing impossible.
“It couldn’t be, it wasn’t an argument [considered], “He continued.” You can’t think about it.
“His salary is so dizzying and, don’t forget, this has a ripple effect. Then the others also want more.
“This led Barcelona to have dizzying debts.”
But while Barça tends towards an institutional crisis, their arch rivals, Real Madrid, appear to be in a much less dire situation.
Although club president Florentino Perez pointed out that Madrid football was running out of money earlier this year when they faced attempting to form a European Super League, the Los Blancos were comfortable enough to make offers. of at least 160 million euros for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.
PSG has not taken up any offers, but the Frenchman will become a free agent next year and Rummenigge believes there is a major change both he and Erling Haaland could end up in Madrid in 2022 rather than the Norwegian going to Bayern.
“[Robert] Lewandowski is the best center forward in the world. Haaland is second best, “he said.” I think Bayern are interested in Robert staying after his contract expires in 2023. Haaland is an investment.
“I don’t think he will go to Liverpool. I know the owner very well and he is not known for wallowing.
“With Haaland, I would not rule out Real Madrid. Maybe they’ll open their checkbook a little more in the summer and maybe they’ll take Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. “