Newell’s Old Boys confident of signing Messi after 2018 World Cup
Buenos Aires, Sep 5 (IANS) Lionel Messi’s first football club Newell’s Old Boys is hopeful of bringing the Argentine superstar back to the club after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Argentine club revealed its desire days after Spanish champions FC Barcelona expressed confidence over Lionel Messi’s extension of contract.
The Barcelona forward will turn 31 in 2018, when Newell’s Old Boys hope to secure his services, according to a report in ESPNFC.com.
Messi left Newell’s as a 13-year-old in 2000 to move to Spain but has often suggested he will return to the Rosario-based club at the end of his career.
The club’s vice president Cristian D’Amico is positive it is something that will eventually happen and is excited about the effect it would have on the Argentine side.
“I am convinced, like many of my peers, we can make history as a club if we get the best player in the world in a Newell’s shirt,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.com on Sunday.
“I think we’re going to get the pleasure of Messi wearing the shirt. It would be revolutionary. Imagine a game with Messi in the Coloso (Estadio Marcelo Bielsa), with the press around the world, the sponsors who would come.”
“That would make a difference and economically, apart from the sentimental value, it could make a big difference to cleaning up the debts.”
D’Amico adds that the club must “change a lot in the next two years” to put themselves in a place to make the deal a possibility.
Messi himself has previously made no bones about a return to Argentina, saying Newell’s would be the only club he would play for in his homeland.
“If I return to Argentina, something I would love to do, the club would be Newell’s,” he said earlier this year.
“Right now I think about the day to day and if (Argentina) happens, it will be in several years. The reality is that I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so I can’t promise that I will return, because it wouldn’t be sincere.”
“I can tell you I would love to play in Argentina and for Newell’s, but it depends on many things,” the 29-year-old added.
Messi’s current deal at Barcelona expires in 2018, although Spanish media reports say he is expected to extend his term until 2021 at some point in the coming months.