Jan Oblak honors Lionel Messi in tribute; Neymar excited by reuniting with Argentine great.
As you have no doubt heard, Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player for the first time in his full professional career after his relationship with the Catalan giants was forced to come to an end due to rampant financial issues at the Camp Nou.
The Argentine great will now ply his trade in the city of lights, starring at the Parc des Princes for Paris Saint-Germain in what is sure to be the club’s biggest push yet to finally secure their first-ever Champions League trophy.
But the long-lasting effect that Messi has bestowed upon La Liga and Spanish football is undeniable. Whether it be millions of adoring fans that were brought to tears and utter disbelief, or former adversaries that are sad to see one of the most iconic careers – if not the most iconic – in the history of Spanish football reach its conclusion, Messi has touched the lives of countless through the beautiful game.
Jan Oblak pays tribute to his former adversary
As a goalkeeper plying his trade in Spain, there was no more terrifying prospect than seeing Messi through on goal, swashbuckling his way through your clubmates in your defensive third outside the area, or standing unopposed over a set-piece. Jan Oblak knows better than most, having squared off against Messi on many occasions during his seven years in the Spanish capital with Atlético Madrid.
But despite those moments where Messi rose to the top, Oblak laments his departure from La Liga and took to his personal Twitter account to pay tribute to a player who truly defined an era in Spain and across both Europe and the global footballing landscape.
For as long as I’ve been playing, #Messi has been redefining football. If it wasn’t for him, @LaLiga would be a very different place. I’d have a few more clean sheets for a start. He inspires everyone to raise their game. Here’s to his next dream. #NeverDreamAlone @budfootball pic.twitter.com/kipCoIFtFy
— Jan Oblak (@oblakjan) August 10, 2021
With a touching video tribute thanks to Budweiser in which Oblak also makes an appearance, the Slovenian international added a personal touch with his own post crediting the Rosario-native with “redefining football” over the entirety of his career dating back to 2008-09 when Oblak made his professional debut for capital club NK Olimpija Ljubljana.
Like so many others, Oblak comments on the massive influence Messi had on not just him, but countless other professionals and fans alike, that had a license to dream and be inspired to achieve. La Liga will never be the same without his effortless grace on the pitch.
Neymar excited to rekindle on-pitch relationship with Messi.
Oblak was not the only player to take to social media to dispense their emotions surrounding Lionel Messi’s move to the French capital, with former Barcelona clubmate and international foe Neymar taking to Instagram in celebration regarding their reunion on the pitch.
The pair spent four years together terrorizing their opposition both at home and abroad, forming one of the most dynamic attacking trios of this generation along with Luis Suárez. All told Neymar bagged 105-goals across a combined 186-appearances in all competitions for Blaugrana while scoring over 20 La Liga goals in both 2014-15 (22) and 2015-16 (24); his highest single-season goal returns in domestic club football in his career to date.
How can PSG give Neymar €30M per season, while paying €60M for Hakimi and €75M in pre-tax wages to Messi, Donnarumma, Wijnaldum, and Ramos, and even *think* about re-signing Mbappe in the same year it’s expected to lose €204M in revenue? UEFA, just end the charade.
— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) August 6, 2021
While many continue to question how PSG have perpetrated the summer business they have managed (deals for Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giorginio Wijnaldum, and Sergio Ramos) all while intending on trying to persist in keeping French starlet Kylian Mbappé in Paris, the prospect of Messi and Neymar rekindling their bond on the pitch is a tantalizing one that could well end in PSG’s first-ever Champions League win in the club’s history.