Barcelona legend Rivaldo feels Lionel Messi should choose to join Manchester City if he leaves the Nou Camp this summer.
Messi, 33, will be out of contract at Barca at the end of the season. It seems highly likely that the Argentina superstar will end his 21-year stay at the Catalan club.
The South American was eager to leave last summer but a contract dispute saw him remain with Barca. However, there will be nothing preventing him from beginning a new chapter in his career this time around.
Although there will be no transfer fee involved, Messi will not come cheap. His wage demands will likely dwarf anything seen previously at the clubs vying for his signature.
The South American will have the pick of the crop to choose from and City may well be an attractive proposition. Rivaldo certainly thinks so.
The man who scored 130 goals for the La Liga giants points to a number of factors in their favour.
“Pep Guardiola has one of the best squads in Europe and Manchester City are in incredible form right now after 19 consecutive wins, jumping to a 10-point lead in the league and taking a solid step forward in Europe this week,” he told Betfair.
“City are a very rich club and that allows them to sign the best players in the world. For that reason, they would be a very solid destination for Lionel Messi if he leaves Barcelona.”
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Messi’s goalscoring record means any club in the world would want to have him on their books. The Rosario-born ace has bagged an incredible 658 goals from 763 appearances in all competitions.
He has notched 463 in the Spanish top flight and 119 in the Champions League. It may be that he has just one European outing left for his present employers.
Barca trail Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 after the first leg of their last-16 tie and need a miracle to progress. It remans to be seen where he will ply his trade next term.
Rivaldo believes that the addition of Messi would make the Citizens fearless when facing any opponent.
“Mix the great moment of form they’re going through with the fact that Guardiola has already coached Messi with huge success, and it’s clear that the English club would become even stronger with the Argentinian star on their ranks,” he added.
“In fact, with Messi, they would be the favourite to win any competition.”