Former Barcelona Rivaldo believes moving to Manchester City could help extend Lionel Messi’s career at the highest level.
Barcelona are unable to register Messi due to financial fair play regulations imposed by La Liga, despite the player having already agreed a contract with the club.
PSG have been the most talked-about destination for Messi so far, but Rivaldo thinks his best option would be Manchester City and a reunion with his former manager, Pep Guardiola.
Speaking to Betfair, Rivaldo explained: “Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola is still desperate to win the Champions League and moving there could be a good option for Messi as he would be reunited with a manager he knows well and a club full of great players.
“Having a good understanding and relationship with Guardiola could also help to extend Messi’s career at the highest level. The Catalan was one of the coaches who got the best out of him.”
As big a loss as Messi will be to Barcelona, meanwhile, Rivaldo believes it is La Liga that will miss him most: “It truly is a pity that Lionel Messi’s great story at Barcelona has come to an end. He will be missed at Camp Nou, but La Liga will be poorer without him too. His reputation and global profile was pivotal for the league.
“But player and club must move on. I wish Messi all the best at his future club – no matter where that is – because he is a great person and a very humble guy.”
Rivaldo thinks that the loss of Messi with be hugely detrimental to La Liga and that they might regret this decision to let him go in years to come.
“Messi’s exit is more of a loss for La Liga for than it is for Barcelona. The Argentinian maestro is one of the reasons so many countries cover the Spanish League on TV.
“Of course, rules are rules and you can’t make exceptions for the big clubs if you’re to keep the rest happy. But I believe that something could have been done by La Liga to avoid Messi´s departure like this.
“I respect La Liga for keeping strict financial fair play rules, but I’m sure they will be harmed by losing the best player in the world and they may regret their decision in the near future.”