You'll cross the pond but you'll be far from everywhere, in Miami, the artificial cold capital of the world, where almost everything is plastic, even the air. Messi will not be in Europe, nor will he be in the America from which he comes. That little boy who reeducated his body in Barcelona to be the best footballer in the world, the most awarded, the most coveted, the World Champion with the team of his country, the shy and the sulking, who was born in the land of Fontanarrosa but who is not able to laugh even with these memorable jokes, has decided to cross the pond and we will not see him in Barcelona.
Barcelona was, for those of us who wanted Messi close, the place of utopia, because the team to which many of us profess love for the legend more than, only, for the game, seemed in a position to return it to its colors.
Messi and the Barcelona shirt, an image reserved only for nostalgia. Photo: Lluis GENE / AFP.
His farewell to the Barça club, after some clumsy negotiations to the bottom that did not know how to culminate with sympathy the president of Barça, gave the Messi family the biggest argument of the plot: there they stay with Barça that the boy goes to PSG. In the PSG they received him as a vedette and finally dismissed him as a worker, with words that seemed the compensation owed to a retiree.
Between one thing and another, between a humiliation to Barça and the humiliation he suffered himself in two years of desolate chimera in Paris, it seemed that the return to Barcelona, the land where it was made, would finally be the place of rest. The captain would again have the 10 on his back, the number that now wobbles on Ansu Fati's bib.
Messi did not adapt to Paris: they received him like a vedette and dismissed him like a worker. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier.
Messi's father starred this weekend in a faint hope of return, and said what we Canaries usually say to say yes and no at the same time: maybe he comes to Barcelona.
It was after a fleeting meeting (they said very fleeting) with the president Joan Laporta, who in all this vaudeville of smiles and tears has been exciting without data to the fan. We got used to the idea that maybe that could be serious, so we prepared for anything.
Anything was everything, really, because a footballer who is already 36 years old can give everything or nothing in the stadiums. They said so many things about what it was going to be, if it was Barça again, that we felt that in one of these I was going to say goodbye to all this, like in Robert Graves' book.
It looked like a cookbook for old people: you can eat this, but you won't be able to eat this. It was like the virtual contract for a finicky man, or for an old man who was returned to the room he had in his youth but in which he could not sleep but at times.
Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona and key protagonist in this story of heartbreak and disappointments. Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP.
That was the least of it, actually, because from there came the most nutritious, or at least the most nutritious for the father of the footballer, and surely for the player himself. The most nutritious thing is money, and Barça has no money. It depends on so many instances that he has money that it is like a letter to the Magi that is said from the directive when it is pronounced in its bosom, especially in relation to Messi, the word contract.
With money and without money I always do what I want, say the Mexican charros, but there, in the world of football, it is not worth so much passion, fans, the past, because hobby and passion are things of the past: what counts is the parné. And that's what you have in the North America that now embraces it.
Lionel Messi will bring his left-footedness and magnetism to MLS. Photo: AP Photo/Francisco Seco.
I've been with Barça since I was eleven years old. My biggest dream, since I knew that maybe he was coming, was to see Messi dressed in Barça. This morning I heard that maybe (maybe!) we have him as a Barça player for a few moments at the end of the year, when the games in Miami stop. We are so fond, we love Messi so much, that even that crumb of the season appears to us as a consolation, a reason for life.
We live, then, as in the poem by Vicente Aleixandre, in the desolation of the chimera. That's how it has been and always will be, because Barça feeds these dreams to kill them, because at the end of the day it's about playing, so Messi doesn't play, he won't play in the team, but the team will continue to play that it will have it, maybe, one day, even if it's for a few hours. Desolation, what a pure word for so much lost illusion.