LaLiga president Javier Tebas is known for courting controversy with his comments in the press and the 58-year-old's recent comments will irk loyal supporters of Neymar Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both star forwards sought pastures anew after productive spells in Spain and Tebas has hardly forgotten the terms of their exit. Tebas has taken a jibe at both Neymar and Ronaldo, suggesting that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is far more valuable to LaLiga then those two.
In an interview with Marca, Javier Tebas revealed that Lionel Messi has been LaLiga's heritage and has been far more essential than his counterparts Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. The LaLiga president said that the Brazilian international gave LaLiga eyes in a few countries that follow him, but he was certainly not an essential part.
The 58-year-old added that the same can be said about Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018. Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was close to leaving Camp Nou in the summer to join Manchester City but opted to stay around till the end of his contract to avoid legal issues with LaLiga and his boyhood club.
Tebas: "We play 10 months/year, with 20 clubs playing each other, generating passion & joy for fans in Spain & across the world. A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he's not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was."— barcacentre (@barcacentre) August 27, 2019
Tebas believes that Messi leaving Barcelona would have been catastrophic for the Spanish first division, and reiterated that it is always his desire that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner ends his career in Spain. The LaLiga president, however, revealed that Lione Messi's potential exit would hardly have any financial implication for the league, as no TV broadcaster asked for cancellation of contracts signed on for the next four years. However, the 58-year-old is aware that a second wave of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could sabotage their financial stranglehold with cases consistently rising in Spain.
Tebas: "Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is the essential element because he's the heritage of LaLiga." pic.twitter.com/ishMQCjD4Z— barcacentre (@barcacentre) August 27, 2019
Javier Tebas adds that there should be a balance between the financial and the health aspects of the game, and LaLiga could not afford another a forced break. The LaLiga president said that the league could soon move into a 'financial pandemic', which could be dangerous for clubs in the Spanish top division. Real Madrid are currently top of LaLiga but have played one more game than Barcelona, who they face off against at Camp Nou on October 24.