The media dimension of Leo Messi is proportional to the discretion that surrounds him. There's a silence around what is becoming more and more worrying for Barcelona: his contract renewal. We have arrived in November, it is already getting cold, and the only thing we know is that nothing is known. Or almost nothing... And how do we interpret that? The English usually say that of 'no news, good news', but I am afraid that Barça's supporters may not agree as the season progresses and the contract's not signed. They cannot imagine, even in their worst nightmares, a Barça without Messi.
If we keep in mind Barcelona's official version, that everything's fine, that it's a matter of days, that it's just about finding the right moment for Leo to appear... then there's no need to panic. Everyone can be calm.
However, there are silences that hurt, worry and, above all, invite reflection. How should we interpret that all the players that had to renew, including Iniesta, have renewed and Messi still hasn't? What does the right moment mean? What has to happen for this to all end? Some say it's as simple as Leo saying: now. Keep in mind something special: Leo Messi, hypothetically speaking, would only leave Barcelona of his own accord, unilaterally. With that, I want to say that here that wouldn't happen, the opposite to what happened with Neymar, a club ready to pay for the transfer. That is impossible.
And it's impossible because on Jan.1 (2018), less than two months, Leo Messi would be free to negotiate with any club he wants. His contract ends on June 30 and FIFA's rules would allow him to do as such.
The few things to have come out about Messi's renewal, however, invite optimism and push us to think that he will renew. He has received part of the renewal bonus that the club would have to pay and some sources say that's as high as 50 million euros. That's already written into the club's finances.
In addition, Leo's father, Jorge, a prudent and discreet person, has already signed the player's image rights contract with the club. And Rodrigo, his older brother, has also signed a contract with links the Messi Foundation with FC Barcelona.
So, what's lacking? That Leo signs the employment contract, the official contract, which is what really matters. The one that has to go to the Liga de Futbol Profesional. As far as we know, Barça have not pressured nor will they pressure Messi to make his renewal definitive. However, and as much as we understand and agree that players should only think about themselves, it should not be forgotten that at the end of the day a footballer is a footballer because they play in a team that exists behind the millions of people that sustain them. Let's see if the Barcelona supporters get what they want before Christmas.