Rio Ferdinand says Lionel Messi should LEAVE Barcelona after heaviest ever European defeat against Bayern Munich – ‘What’s he thinking?’

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Rio Ferdinand says Lionel Messi should LEAVE Barcelona after heaviest ever European defeat against Bayern Munich – ‘What’s he thinking?’

Lionel Messi should consider quitting Barcelona after the Spanish giants descended into crisis with a embarrassing defeat to Bayern Munich, believes Rio Ferdinand.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was powerless to prevent the German champions from running riot in Portugal, as the Catalan club were dumped out of the Champions League quarter-finals in stunning fashion.

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Messi was stunned by the result in Portugal and has now been urged to consider his future at Barcelona

The 8-2 loss was Barca’s heaviest European defeat in the club’s history, and serious questions are now being asked of the team and their manager Quique Setien who was reportedly sacked just hours after the final whistle.

Messi was pictured heartbroken in the dressing room after the game, while centre-back Gerard Pique admitted that the team had ‘hit rock bottom’ and called for widespread ‘changes’ at the Nou Camp, saying ‘nobody is safe’.

And Manchester United legend Ferdinand believes Messi will be one of the first to consider his future, as the 33-year-old icon looks to what the rest of his legendary career holds.

Speaking on BT Sport on Friday night, Rio asked: “What is Messi thinking going home tonight?

“Does he want to spend his time left in that shirt, given the performances and the way the squad is looking at the moment in comparison to other teams around Europe?

“Has he got the time to sit there and wait?

“Football is a game that comes and goes very quickly in your life, so these next two years where he’s still going to have the power to influence games the way he does, is he going to want to be doing that but not competing for the big titles?”

Messi has been linked with ending his 19-year association with Barca following rumoured clashes with the club’s hierarchy this season and claims he is unhappy with Setien in charge.

Inter Milan has been suggested as a possible destination, with former president Massimo Moratti saying Inter have the resources to bring the Argentine legend to the San Siro if he looks to leave the Nou Camp.

Messi carried his team through much of the 2019-2020 season, providing 31 goals and 26 assists in all competitions, but it wasn’t enough to beat El Clasico rivals Real Madrid to the Spanish league title.

Adrian Durham and Darren Gough try and settle the Messi vs Ronaldo debate

How much longer will Messi stay to carry this Barcelona team?

AFP OR LICENSORS

How much longer will Messi stay to carry this Barcelona team?

And Ferdinand said the fact Barcelona are still so reliant on their long-serving players shows how bad their recruitment has been in recent years, with big-money signings Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann struggling to make an impact.

“Their recruitment has been shoddy,” added the former England centre-back.

“They still rely on the players who were there before.

“It’s a massive job. There’ll be someone cleaning his [Setien’s] desk right now but I think it was a poison chalice before he got it. Who goes there now?”

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is one of the favourites for the role, despite his allegiances to Catalan rivals Espanyol, while Barcelona have also been urged to consider Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa.





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