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Barcelona would be less valuable without Messi, says presidential candidate Fernandez

06-Jan-2021, 11:24 pm

Lionel Messi Barcelona 2020-21

Lionel Messi is the only player who can ensure Barcelona's value, according to presidential candidate Lluis Fernandez.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner ultimately elected to stay and see out his contract, which runs out at the end of the season, before Bartomeu and the entire Barca board resigned in October.

There has been talk that Messi may choose to remain at the club he has been at since 2001, having helped themto 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues.

However, Messi, who marked his 500th LaLiga appearance by teeing up Frenkie de Jong's winner against Huesca last time out, will not make a decision until towards the end of the season – somethingBarca coach Ronald Koeman insists is not a problem.

With the presidential elections coming up on January 24, each candidate is outlining their vision for the future of the club, and Fernandez has vowed to do all he can to keep Messi at Camp Nou, outlining the financial benefits of retaining the 33-year-old.

"We can't forget thatBarcelonahave a greater income because ofMessi," he told Radio Marca . "Barcelonawould have less value withoutMessi.

"He is the only player in the squad who, by his mere presence, ensuresBarcelonahave more value and more income.

"We need income, but we also need to manage the club's structure. There's a need to negotiate the debt.

"But, there's no danger ofBarcelonabeing forced to become a limited company. The members can rest assured about that."

Fernandez also wants the club to return to its roots and promote more players from its famed La Masia academy.

Ansu Fati isthe most recent prodigy off Barca's production lineand, should he win the election, Fernandez will speak to Koeman about the importance of giving youth a chance.

"We agree thatRonald Koemanshould be given a chance," Fernandez added. "We need to speak with him because there's a need to give opportunities to the players from the academy.

"No starter has come out of La Masia since 2011, whenSergi Robertodid so. So, there's a need to speak toKoemanabout this and about giving opportunities.

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