Why La Liga Needs Lionel Messi More Than He Needs Them

Messi La Liga

When Lionel Messi attempted his biggest escape plan of Barcelona than ever before, La Liga and the Camp Nou President, Josep Bartomeu, came together with all their might to hang onto their magician for dear life. 

And you can’t blame them. Lionel Messi is the star of the show, the attraction point worldwide. If he leaves, so do plenty of the viewers. 

Yet, it has to be said, Messi has done more than enough to elevate Spanish football alongside Barcelona throughout the years to warrant a new challenge. A legend usually receives a fitting farewell, and that should be the very occasion being arranged as we speak. 

In came the shackles instead of the murals, however, as Barcelona and La Liga ensured their protagonist’s stay. 

La Liga Needs Lionel Messi

Would El Classico be the Same? 

When Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018, many would have switched channels to tune into the Serie A instead of the now Ronaldo-less La Liga. The spectacle of Messi vs Ronaldo, Goat vs Goat, was gone; one half of the relishing rivalry had departed for pastures new. 

And views would have undoubtedly been affected. In the first season, Real Madrid’s average attendance drop from 55,000 to 52,000, just to give an example of the impact of Ronaldo’s departure. 

The El Classico, too, seemingly one of the best fixtures in the football calendar, would have suffered a loss in viewership. After all, it had previously been pitched as Messi vs Ronaldo. Without Ronaldo, the hype of seeing the two legends collide in the game of all games was gone. 

The only spectacle left to watch was Lionel Messi. People around the globe still tuned in to see whether the Argentine forward could produce the magic once again. 

Now, imagine the panic in the La Liga headquarters as they hear the news of Messi’s desire to leave the league behind. Ronaldo’s exit had an impact on the worldwide views; Messi’s would probably destroy them. 

So, you can see why, with a swift statement in support of Barcelona’s £700 million release clause claim, La Liga decided to do all they can to keep a hold of the star of the show. 

A Lack of Stars Without Messi in La Liga

The Premier League may not have someone of Messi’s calibre to grace the pitch week in week out, but viewers are attracted to it because of the number of star players. 

From Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk to Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Sergio Agüero, the Premier League has a plethora of talent to attract the viewers. 

La Liga, on the other hand, may have the biggest star of them all, but when looking past that, do they have players capable of attracting worldwide viewership? Sergio Ramos’ character often proves entertaining, while Karim Benzema’s talent is enjoyable to watch. 

Other than the Real Madrid stars, though, it is hard to find marketable players to attract the viewers in the same way Lionel Messi does. The Premier League can plaster four or five well known and supported stars onto a billboard to promote the incoming season.

In La Liga, however, it is hard to find players of the same plethora. Those that are not avid followers of Spanish football tune in to watch the magician that is Messi; they see a game with the forward’s face advertised with it and make sure they are watching as the referee signals the beginning of the game. 

Messi the Main Attraction

The fact is, there is no other player in La Liga that would make a casual viewer tune into a game. Spanish football simply had to keep hold of Lionel Messi; they need him for viewership, for sales and for marketing. Barcelona needs him for shirt sales and the attraction of fans. 

It is no wonder that both the league and the club so desperately came together to chain Messi to Spanish football for at least another year. They simply would not be able to find a suitable recast for the position of the protagonist.

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