Leo Messi started to cry before he even began his goodbye speech at the Nou Camp yesterday, but behind the tears was a chilling message to Barcelona fans – I want to win lots more trophies and I will probably be doing it at your biggest European rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
Asked about the likelihood of him leaving his Adios at Barcelona to say an immediate Bonjour to his new club, Messi said: “The deal is not closed but PSG is a real possibility and we are talking.”
Messi has won 35 trophies at Barcelona – only Dani Alves has more medals – but he is far from finished and he added: “My aim is to keep winning, win a Champions League, catch Dani Alves.”
The prospect of Messi winning with the French side must be haunting Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who sat front row staring up at the ‘more than a club’ sign above Messi’s podium.
Messi will have no mercy once he starts playing. “When I leave here I will be even more sad but I will keep on playing football which is what I most love to do and I’m sure it [the sadness] will pass a bit.”
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old is set to have a medical ahead of signing his contract in the next few hours, according to ESPN and French newspaper L’Equipe.
Since the news broke on Thursday evening that Barcelona are not able to keep Messi because of alarming financial issues, PSG have moved at an electric pace to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Coach Jose Mourinho was sent off as his Roma side finished Saturday’s friendly away to Real Betis with only eight men.
The hosts went 3-2 up on 57 minutes but Roma’s players argued that Alex Moreno had handled the ball over the line.
Midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini received a second yellow card, while Mourinho was also sent off for protesting.
Gianluca Mancini and Rick Karsdorp both received second cautions in the closing stages as Betis scored twice more to seal a 5-2 win in Seville.
Roma had twice come from behind, with new Uzbek signing Eldor Shomurodov cancelling out Rodri’s opener before Mancini made it 2-2 on 50 minutes after a Nabil Fekir strike.
Drama ensued after Moreno’s goal, with Cristian Tello and Rober on target as the hosts made their numerical advantage count.
Betis begin their La Liga campaign away to Mallorca next Saturday, 14 August (18:30 BST).
Roma have a friendly on the same day at home to Moroccan side Raja Casablanca before a Europa Conference League play-off tie on 19 August, and their Serie A season starts at Fiorentina on 22 August (19:45 BST).