There’s nothing to suggest there isn’t anything cosmic about the connection between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Always the feeling that someone’s chasing someone, trying to outdo the other. Ronaldo got a raise? Messi finally signed his new contract with Barcelona.
If you think the date of the announcement telling the world Lionel Messi signed yet another extension with Barcelona, keeping him at the club until 2018 (just like Ronaldo at Real, go figure) for €12 million a season not including bonuses and incentives that are worth €5 million more each season, was arbitrary and unplanned, go follow another sport.
It’s about stealing the thunder. Lionel Messi isn’t as naive as his boyish face might tell, and there’s no need to talk and discuss the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo suggested Messi didn’t mention him in his Balon d’Or acceptance speech (why should he?!) for a reason, not in those exact words. Even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day, and maybe Ronaldo has a point about Barcelona and Messi. A small one, but still.
At this point in his career, it hard to believe Lionel Messi will ever play for another club. He’s been with Barcelona since the age of 13, and came into the club at the perfect time. When Barcelona became trendy again, as Ronaldinho emerged as the best footballer in the world for a couple of years, not to mention the biggest star and most marketable pair of feet we’ve seen in a long time. Even when the titles didn’t come, Messi’s reputation (and ability) just grew, meeting the right manager at the perfect timing.
As long as the current culture of the club remains, that preaches for more than just success, but sends out a message (true or not), of being more than just about winning – being about style and representing certain values and aesthetics, Barcelona seem like the club that will hang on to a certain group of players until they retire.
But people, people are almost a variable you never know how their direction will turn. Egos, desires, different views. People change at the top spot in Barcelona every few years, and at some point, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to think someone with a slightly different opinion on the whole idea of running a club will become the decision maker. Maybe it’s a good thing to change things up once in a while, but watching and following sports closely, you learn that not everything is forever, and not everything players and clubs claim is actually what transpires.
Contracts aren’t forever, bonds between players, people and their teams aren’t ever lasting. As long as things remain this good, which means Barcelona eat up almost every title in its way at a reasonable pace, allowing a season or two of missing out on a championship to happen without major shakeups, there won’t be any problems. But what if there are?