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Newell's Old Boys vice-president Cristian D'Amico has reiterated that the doors are open for Lionel Messi, while conceding that the player will have the last word on whether he wishes to return.
Messi, who played as a boy in the Newell's youth set-up before moving to Catalunya at the age of 13,once more struggled to inspire his under-performing Barcelona side as the Blaugrana were held 2-2 by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday to record their third draw in their last four outings in La Liga.
The Argentine's future at Camp Nou has rarely come under such serious doubt as in recent months, and while he has stated in the past that a move back to Argentina would be extremely difficult for family reasons, D'Amico insists that Newell's will not give up their hope of seeing him take the pitch in his hometownRosario.
"I don't know if it is impossible. It is all up to him and his family," the director signalled to TNT Sports .
"As directors we have to provide the best context possible to help him make a decision. When Maradona came to Newell's nobody thought he could come.
"I hope that something similar can happen with Leo.
"Obviously we shouldn't be making things up, this is a delicate subject. What Newell's doesn't dream of seeing the world's best player in their team's colours? Time will tell maybe, we have to stay calm."
Newell's were able to welcome one former favourite home this week, with veteran striker Ignacio Scocco joining on a free transfer for a fourth spell at the club following three goal and trophy-laden years at River Plate.
Ex-Liverpool and Atletico Madrid star Maxi Rodriguez also returned to the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa in 2019 for a third stint, and the 39-year-old called on his 2010 World Cup team-mate to pick up the pace in coming home.