Lionel Messi is likely to be playing for Paris St Germain next season after bidding a tearful goodbye to Barcelona. Now the 34-year-old Argentinian legend can seal his legacy as arguably the greatest player ever.
Messi is already mentioned in the same breath as Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Only Manchester City can compete financially with PSG for Messi’s services. Whatever lies ahead for the six-times Ballon d’Or winner, who joined Barca as a 13-year-old and leaves after 21 years having helped them to 35 trophies, a move may elevate his career.
Messi scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barca, a phenomenal rate that stands up to scrutiny against all legends. But Barca have been in decline in recent seasons, despite their huge, out-of-control spending.
Messi must have been tempted by City, the reigning Premier League champions who are likely to be champions for a fourth time in five seasons. This promises to be another thrilling campaign with standards raised to unprecedented levels. Chelsea are the European champions, Liverpool won it last year and big spending Manchester United are in the mix with the electric speed and deft skills of Jadon Sancho to bolster their challenge.
City though are the obvious favourites with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling (if he stays), Jack Grealish and possibly Harry Kane in their line-up.
Chelsea boast the calibre of N'Golo Kante, Mason Mount and keeper Edouard Mendy. When Romelu Lukaku returns to Stamford Bridge, an already formidable squad will be even stronger. The same can be true for Liverpool who have Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk back. Reds stalwarts like Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold have a point to prove after their form dipped last term.
Someone who could be in the Prem this season could be Brazilian ace Malcom who helped his country to defend their Olympic title following a dramatic extra-time victory over Spain at the Nissan Stadium.
Substitute Malcom is being eyed by Man United. He raced in to score the winner after 108 minutes to hand Brazil the gold medal in a 2-1 win.
Arsenal hope the $70 million they shelled out for Ben White from Brighton will finally solve the problematic centre back place they’ve been unable to fill for years. Leicester are capable of mounting a challenge again after the 2016 shock title win with Jamie Vardy still deadly and Kelechi Iheanacho becoming more prolific.
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