It goes without saying that Lionel Messi leaving would be more than a massive loss for Barcelona and cause disruption like no other, as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future is yet to be resolved.
Messi’s contract is up in the summer and plenty of Europe’s top clubs will be eagerly monitoring his situation at the Nou Camp, particularly that of Manchester City. Not only is Messi arguably the greatest of all time, but the Argentine also generates a huge amount of money for the club through advertising and shirt sales, which will further damage Barca’s already fragile financial situation. Perhaps the more worrying prospect for Barcelona will be replacing Messi, a task that could only be fulfilled by signing Kylian Mbappe.
Financially, the club are in ruins, with recent reports claiming that they are in $1.4b worth of debt, meaning that replacing Messi will be near impossible. Much like Real Madrid have struggled in European competitions since Cristiano Ronaldo left, Barca's troubles will further deepen once their club legend leaves.
At the very least, however, Madrid are able to commit to buying players year in year out, and Barcelona, on the other hand, are set to struggle across the board when their greatest ever inevitably departs.