If Lionel Messi were to leave Barcelona then “we’re going to have to change the club’s name,” says Samuel Eto’o, with the Argentine superstar being synonymous with the League giants.
To date, an all-time great has spent his entire professional career on the Camp Nou pages.
At a young age, Barca acquired Messi’s potential and carefully nurtured him through the renowned La Masia academy system and into their senior ranks.
Eto’o was part of the Blaugrana squad when an exciting talent broke through and always expected the Argentinean to hit the top.
Messi now has six Ballons d’Or and countless big titles to his credit, with his unworldly adventures rewriting the history books on a regular basis.
It could be that someone else gets to benefit from those talents before the time comes to hang up his boots, with the struggles currently being sparked in Catalonia seeing unwelcome talk of exiting.
Barca was unable to tie their talismanic captain to terms beyond the summer of 2021, but Eto’o still considers it unthinkable to divide ways.
TyC Sports has been told by the former Blaugrana frontman: “I love Messi as he was my own son, I wish him the best.
“Barcelona is Messi and I think if Messi decides to leave, we’ll have to change the name of the club.
“We are lucky in that in Barcelona, we have the best player in the world, and of all-time, we have to do everything possible to ensure he finishes his career in Barcelona.”
The Cameroonian striker added:
“I really suffered myself with that defeat [to Bayern], not just for Leo, but for all of the lads.
“Someone who has never played the game will find it hard to understand, but these things exist in football – and in life too.
“Anyone can suffer a fall but you have to get up again and that is the most difficult part.
“The players, the bosses, the fans, I hope that we can lift ourselves up from this and begin to dream again for next season.”
With their humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Barca’s failure to win La Liga or Copa del Rey honors in 2019-20 is said to have Messi mulling over his options.
Eto’o can appreciate everyone at Camp Nou’s disappointment but is looking for anyone linked to the club to dust themselves off and come back more strongly next season.
For 2020-21 Barcelona will be under new management, with Quique Setien relieved of his duties as rumors say that Ronald Koeman will be named as his successor.