Lionel Messi was forced to U-turn over his decision to leave Barcelona after a string of errors and “bad advice” given by his father and agent Jorge.
That’s according to Real Madrid and Mexico icon Hugo Sanchez, who pins the blame for Messi’s failure to quit Camp Nou on his representative.
Messi’s future has dominated headlines since he informed Barcelona of his desire to leave the club last week, believing he could depart for free due to a clause in his contract.
Manchester City emerged as front runners to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner – only for the 33-year-old to reverse his decision on Friday after La Liga upheld his €700million (£624million) release clause.
And Sanchez believes Messi was placed in a weak negotiating position from the start thanks to his father’s methods.
“That untimely burofax only strengthened the image of the president of Barcelona and gave him time to weaken Messi’s decision,” he told ESPN .
“Messi has had no choice but to stay at Barcelona due to bad advice from his father and the law firm, because they could have saved that burofax. That has caused weakness to his image within the team.
“Coincidentally, Messi had the lawyers who had previously worked with Barcelona, but due to a conflict of interest, the Catalan club changed its strategy.
“If Messi and his father already had the decision to leave Barcelona, they should not have waited in time.
“But before the end of the term agreed in the contract, they had to tell the club that they wanted to leave at the end of the season and on a free, without paying any compensation. If they had it planned, it should have been done that way.”
As well as highlighting the failure to inform Barcelona before the June deadline passed, Sanchez pointed out no team can afford to meet Messi’s enormous release clause in the current climate.
He added: “Messi’s second problem was to send that burofax without certainty and guaranteeing that they had a team that would pay the €700m, which, due to the pandemic, no team in the world that can invest that amount.”