Who does not like playing a little game of “What If?”
Former FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi isn’t coming to Bayern Munich. That is an established fact — we all know it. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić recently made a clear statement on why Bayern won’t be pursuing Messi, primarily due to financial limitations when going up against clubs owned by entire nations.
Why is Messi not an option?— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 8, 2021
Salihamidžić: "I spoke to my friend Jens Jeremies yesterday and he said: 'Man, it'd be something to see Messi in training one day'. But unfortunately it's not possible. We didn't negotiate, but the sums I heard about are unimaginable at FC Bayern"
But, in a hypothetical world, one in which non-oil clubs had a chance, here are 3 reasons why Messi’s next move to Bayern might just be perfect for both parties.
A world class club with a world class team
Bayern Munich is a club rich with tradition and has consistently been successful in their pursuit of trophies at the highest level of club football. The current team is one of the best in world football consisting of a healthy mixture of youth and senior players. The core of the team is stable, with positive news coming from the camps of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka regarding contract extensions. The defence saw a revamp after a poor showing last season. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman together form one of the most lethal attacks in all of Europe, especially with the duo of Kimmich and Goretzka sitting behind them. Not to forget the GOATkeeper Manual Neuer in goal.
In the short term, this is a great team for a 34 year-old Messi to move to. It is not only a proven squad, having won the Champions League less than a year ago, but it is also a team that can comfortably take on the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Liverpool and any other top European club — something that Messi’s old club has struggled with, since its decline following the departure of Neymar. Messi at Bayern can genuinely challenge for the Champions League once again from the get go, with no compromises.
Messi fits the Mia San Mia ethos
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that FC Barcelona has been “Messi’s team”. Many wonderful players have played at Barca during his time, but Messi was still the top dog and the team played around him. He is one of the greatest players ever to grace the beautiful game, so it makes sense to form the team around Messi and play for Messi.
Bayern on the other hand have almost always been about the team as a whole and never placed too much importance on one player alone. Everyone plays for the team and the team achieving the highest level is numero uno on the priority list. This has always given Bayern an edge and the complete will to win.
How then can Messi fit at Bayern, which cannot put a pedestal for one player and ask the others to play for that player. The answer is simple, Messi doesn’t need a pedestal. He shone on Barca’s pedestal, but Messi’s also shown that he can be selfless and has no problem letting other players take the centre-stage.
During the MSN era and later with Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, Messi often went out of his way to ensure his teammates had opportunities to score goals and not just be a second-fiddle to him. Whether they were having trouble getting their first goals, letting another player take penalties or completing their hattricks, Messi often took a step back and let his mates have the limelight. The “family” approach that Bayern takes to run the club would see Messi fit like a glove. Bayern and the Bundesliga can truly be a second home to him and not just another high paying club to milk his final years.
The Adidas Factor
For the uninitiated, Adidas is a German and Bavarian MNC that owns an 8.33 percent stake in Bayern Munich. Adidas is also one of Bayern's primary sponsors. Lionel Messi is their biggest athlete — with a lifetime contract. Adidas would always have a vested interest in Messi’s potential move to Bayern.
In the past, there were reports that Adidas offered to partly finance Messi’s transfer to Bayern and also take on part of Messi’s wages if he made the move to Munich. It would not be surprising at all if such a deal were to happen between Bayern and Adidas. In all honesty Messi’s immense PR means that he finances himself. Adidas’s involvement would only make this all the more easier on Bayern’s coffers while still offering a competitive package that suits a superstar.