It was mildly better than Antoine Griezmann’s ‘La Decision,’ but Lionel Messi’s own decision was clouded in far too much theatre for my liking.
Perhaps that’s the nature of the beast. When Messi speaks, everyone listens.
On this occasion, his interview was arguably one of the most important of his entire career. His words would be pored over with a fine-tooth comb, everyone looking for the merest hint of a double meaning or something that could be twisted one way or another to suit a particular narrative.
As it happened, Leo left no room for interpretation. His ire was crystal clear, and whether he was advised how to play it or not, his ‘performance’ was masterful.
No need to raise his voice to make the point forcefully. No need for histrionics in order to convey the drama that had surrounded his coming to the conclusion that he had to move on.
So, where does it leave Barcelona, now they are completely aware as to the depth of Messi’s feeling towards the board?
Whenever there’s been the chance of a photo opportunity for Josep Maria Bartomeu to puff out his chest next to Messi, he’s taken it. That’s hardly likely to happen now.
In terms of commercial opportunities that may be available too, Messi has been the player who has also been the club’s major marketing tool for years.
Will he still be minded to remain front and centre for such ventures given that it will arguably benefit a president and a board that he clearly has lost all respect for?
It was heartening to hear that, on the pitch at least, the No.10 will continue to give of his best, because of his ultra-competitive nature.
The bottom line for many supporters, and ostensibly how they will judge the merits and demerits of the squad, is the amount of trophies won at the end of the campaign, so having a Messi that is fully focused on that will be a relief.
However, if the dynamic with Ronald Koeman doesn’t settle down after what would appear to have been an inauspicious start, will we find a situation where Messi begins to be blamed for the failings of the team?
After all, even before the seismic last couple of weeks, a number of culers were adamant that Messi, Pique and Suarez in particular were effectively running the show behind the scenes.
At least everyone knows where Messi stands now, but the interview has left more questions that it has answered.