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Opinion: Barcelona Board Must Do a Better Job Supporting Lionel Messi

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With his latest renewal in, the board must repay him

Deportivo Alaves vs Barcelona - Copa Del Rey Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The Barcelona board is under pressure from Agusti Benedito, a former candidate for club president, after receiving a vote of no confidence. At the same time, Lionel Messi has agreed to remain at Barça until at least 2021.

Benedito’s motion is not necessarily likely to succeed, but current president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s worries won’t end even if that is the case. Bartomeu has a term until 2021 as well, but calls for his resignation will grow unless he can right the ship.

Now, there’s no need to be alarmist. Barcelona are a team coming off a disappointing, but certainly not disastrous season. They have a great squad. They have won important trophies recently.

On the other hand, Lionel Messi has a case for being the best player of all time. The standard is different since the possibilities are higher. We’re loath to admit it, but we are getting ever closer to Messi’s final years.

Therefore, it is clear that the board must do a better job of surrounding the Argentine with the absolute best players and staff, from first to last. Yes, a bit of luck is involved when it comes to results - sometimes a huge heaping of luck (Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph in 2016 comes to mind)... but we can agree, I think, that the work the board has done has been below par.

Messi clearly doesn’t always get on with the board, and I think the vast majority of fans back him 100% in that conflict. Make no mistake, Messi probably remains at Barcelona despite the board, not because of it. His loyalty is to the city, to the institution, and to his teammates.

This is a historically unique opportunity that won’t last forever. The board better be ready to deliver, or else...