An Argentina and Real Madrid legend called Lionel Messi’s exit from FC Barcelona “painful” and claimed his departure also injured club rivals Los Blancos.
With Messi’s departure from the Blaugrana still being one of the biggest talking points in the final transfer window, former Albiceleste star Jorge Valdano has now insisted his Camp Nou exit hurt not only Barça but also their rivals.
Scroll through the gallery above to see eight players who played for Barca and PSG
After negotiations on a new deal dragged on for weeks before it was confirmed that the then La Liga superstar would in fact leave his childhood club, Messi was quickly snapped up by French giant Paris Saint -Germain.
Valdano, himself a former manager, sporting director and CEO of Real, has now explained how the exit of the Spanish elite’s six-time Ballon d’Or winner injured even Los Blancos.
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“There is a feeling that Barcelona just didn’t have the money to pay Messi,” Valdano told Spanish media El Pais.
“An illusion was created, and because it all happened so fast, it looked like he had been kicked out.
“In a game where identity is so important, getting rid of a legend like him isn’t just painful, it’s inexplicable.
“His departure also hurts Real Madrid a lot, as the teams are also measured against their rivals.
“Put simply, Messi will be seen as a football genius, but he won’t just have belonged to Barcelona which is pretty sad.”
Messi finally made his PSG debut against Stade Reims in the last game week before the international break.
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