Spanish La Liga president Javier Tebas has expressed regret over losing some of football’s greatest ever players and managers, with Lionel Messi being the most outstanding example.
Tebas reminded fans that the league once had people like Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, whose departures to places like Germany, England and Italy were a loss.
The president admits that the losses were keenly felt, but Messi’s exit to Paris Saint-Germain this season hurt the most because he is the greatest ever footballer in the game.
"Just like when Cristiano Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho left. We knew that one day this would happen," Tebas told Sport.
"We have had the great luck of having the two best footballers in the world in the two best teams in the world and from LaLiga we have been able to take advantage of this to put ourselves on the world front line.
"Perhaps Messi's departure has been a bit more painful, because personally I consider him the best in history, and he didn't deserve to leave like that, not only for Barca but for La Liga as well."
The president also revealed that he had made efforts to assist Barcelona to keep Messi at the club and Spanish La Liga.
"I discussed it with [Barcelona president Joan] Laporta personally, by phone, and with his board of directors. Solutions were sought, if the reason was economic. If it has been for another reason, I can no longer value it," he added.
"I think that next season, with the numbers that Barca release, we will see if Messi could really have stayed or not. And although I respect the decision of the club, you have to tell things as they are.
"It was not an economic decision. I know for sure,” Tebas concluded.
Meanwhile, Messi is preparing to make his PSG debut in the UEFA Champions League against Club Brugge this week.
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