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BFW Roundtable: where do WE want to see Lionel Messi transfer?

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Lionel Messi wants a new club. We have some ideas where he could dazzle new fans in dazzling new colors.

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SC Freiburg vs FC Ingolstadt 04
Rough translation: “Messi, give me your jersey!”
Photo by Patrick Seeger/picture alliance via Getty Images

Lionel Messi dropped the biggest bombshell to explode after the conclusion of the 2019/20 Champions League season: he wants out of FC Barcelona. Here at Bavarian Football Works, we know that Messi is a bad fit for Bayern Munich, for a variety of reasons. But nonetheless, we have clear views about where we would like to see arguably the greatest player in the world play out his twilight years. Where would you like to see La Pulga end up?

Tom Adams: Sutton United

For this to work, the only mandatory condition would be to bring legendary goalkeeper Wayne Shaw out of retirement and bring him back to be Sutton’s #1 keeper. You know, the guy that became a hero for stuffing his face with meat pies on the sidelines during Sutton’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal in 2017, which he apparently did on a bet. Shaw was also rumored to have downed a couple of pints in the clubhouse during the halftime break which may have broken a bevy a rules since he was listed on the bench for Sutton.

Still, Shaw became an instant legend on the internet, especially for people who don’t rate Arsenal at all.

Now, picture Lionel Messi, one of the world’s greatest ever footballers, smashing meat pies on the sidelines with Wayne Shaw. The internet would literally break and be forced to reset itself. We’d all win ... all of us! Make it happen, Sutton! Messi in the FA Cup would even help him answer the question - Can he do it on a cold, wet night in Stoke?

This belongs in footballing museums, folks:

John Dillon: SC Freiburg

I knew it in my heart of hearts the moment news that Messi informed Barca that he was done:

Christian Streich has been squeezing Tannenzäpfle from a stone in Freiburg for almost a decade, winning Europa Cup qualification and even flirting with the Champions League at various points. Just imagine if, instead of relying on MVP-caliber performances from Vincenzo Grifo and raw talents like Luca Waldschmidt (who just transferred to Benfica!), the “Genie-Streich” could hand his offensive midfield over to Messi!

This is what the Bundesliga needs: not only would Messi raise the profile of the world’s best Fußball league, but he would also instantly make the league competitive. With Streich’s magic, SC Freiburg could rise to become a new powerhouse alongside aspiring Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, and indeed even Bayern Munich. Imagine deep runs in European competition — after Messi helps Freiburg qualify in his first season, of course!

And finally, Messi would have the utter adoration of the fans of a club who routinely boast some of the best attendance numbers in the best-attended league! Imagine him standing up before the fans of local rival VfB Stuttgart and proudly holding up a no. 10 Freiburg jersey — main sponsor Schwarzwaldmilch would probably chip in to help pay his wages, just drooling at the prospect of that incredible scene!

Marcus Iredahl: Sandvikens IF

The only obvious option where Lionel Messi should play football next season is at Sandvikens IF. A club rich with history, the last time Sandviken was in the first division was back in 1961. They now play in the third division of Swedish football.

But why Sandviken? Well, Lionel Messi is used to playing in front of Camp Nou - a stadium that hosted World Cup games back in 1982. What many people don’t know is that Sandviken is as well a World Cup host city. Jernvallen, Sandviken’s home arena, hosted Hungary against Wales and Hungary against Mexico in the 1958 World Cup.

So, Leo, join Sandvikens IF and help them get back to the glory days. Who needs the rivalry with Real Madrid and Eden Hazard when you can create a new one with Gefle IF and Tshutshu Tshakasua wa Tshakasua?

Jack Laushway: Arsenal

Barcelona are a mess right now. Lionel Messi deserves better. A generational talent likes Messi shouldn’t have to deal with this toxic management environment. What he needs is a well-run, prestigious club that is willing to spend money to build a team around him. Who else fits that category better than Arsenal?

Besides, Messi could be leaving on a free, which is Arsenal’s best way of finding spectacular players. He will join the prestigious free transfer list including Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sead Kolasinac, and many more club greats.

The world has always known that Messi can get it done against a relegation Spanish side at the Camp Nou. The real question is if Messi can get it done on a rainy night in North London. We may just get our answer soon.

RLD: Rapid Vienna

Where should Messi land? It’s obvious Rapid Vienna! A fan-owned, traditional club set in the most beautiful city in Europe, where they could feed him enough schnitzel to make him grow out to his real height, not that Spanish slop that clearly stunted his growth. Messi comes from working-class roots and Rapid is a working man’s club. And most importantly if he starts to hate management, like he did with Bartomeu he wouldn’t need to send a fax to get rid of him, he could just call on the ultras to do what they did to Rapid management when they lost 3-1 at home to Salzburg ... build a wall to keep them from coming to work,

(I just think this is one of the greatest fan protests of all time)

Schnitzel01: Qadsia FC, Kuwait

Qadsia is a club with a lot of history, and are the juggernauts of the Kuwait Premier League. They were founded in 1953, and play in the 3rd largest stadium in Kuwait. And he won’t miss the La Liga that much: there’s a “Kuwaiti Clasico” that takes place twice between the top two clubs in Kuwait every season. Plus, every other local is a Messi fan, so I guess the only thing he’ll hear in the stadium is Messi chants. Great place to bring the curtains down on a glittering career! Plus, Kuwait is right next to Qatar ... he can just take a short flight to see his friend Xavi!

Chuck Smith: Philadelphia Union

Look, I’ve already tried to convince (unsuccessfully) Arjen Robben to make the move to Philly, so maybe I’m not the best ambassador, but on short notice here are some reasons Messi should make the move to Chester…err, Philly:

  • The Jersey Shore beaches are just an easy drive over the Commodore Barry Bridge away. Well, uh, okay...the Delaware Beaches are close by!
  • Hershey Park is just under two hours away! It’s the sweetest place on Earth if you didn’t already know.
  • I will donate at least six hours of my valuable time to give you the grand tour of Delco, which will include: Booth’s Corner Farmers Market, The Thirsty Bulldog (I’ll buy you beers on Thanksgiving morning!), the Marcus Hook Riverfront (did you know Delco had Pirates, including Blackbeard???), and maybe even some spots in the woods where where you can sneak beers with your friends. But not Lou Turk’s…we are not going there.

Fergus Tong: Celtic

Why: 1. Ever since lighting up Parkhead in the CL, the Celts and Messi have had a strong relationship, the self proclaimed fan saying Celtic supporters create “the best atmosphere in Europe.”

2. It would be fantastic to see him light up the likes of Bayern in the CL, in addition to the Ross County’s of the SPFL. Also, seeing Messi play on Kilmarnock’s bad Astro pitch would be cool.

3. Messi would provide good training opportunities and experiences for the Celtic youngster — almost like a Bayern affiliate club with the amount of Scottish and Celtic youngsters heading into Bayern’s youth teams.

4. Can you think of anything more hipster? Apart from Messi heading back to Argentina, nothing would satisfy the purists as much as this.