'I would love it' - ex-Barcelona star desperate for Lionel Messi to return

 Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain walks onto the pitch prior to the preseason friendly match between Paris Saint-Germain and Kawasaki Frontale at National Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan
(Image credit: Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Former Barcelona (opens in new tab) midfielder Cesc Fabregas has expressed his wish for Lionel Messi to return to the Camp Nou.

The iconic Argentine's 18-year association with Barca came to an abrupt end last summer, with the Catalan giants' mounting financial woes meaning they were unable to keep him on their wage bill.

Messi subsequently moved to PSG (opens in new tab) – but, despite playing a part in their Ligue 1 title-winning campaign, he hit nothing like the heights we've come to expect (perhaps take for granted) from him over the years.

And from Messi's father to Barca president Joan Laporta – who conceded in June that the club "have a moral debt" to the 35-year-old (opens in new tab) due to the manner of his exit – there seems to be a widespread yearning for the seven-time Ballon d'Or to pull on the famous Blaugrana shirt once again.

The new signing of Como 1907 Cesc Fabregas speaks with the media during the press conference at Hilton Lake Como on August 01, 2022 in Como, Italy

(Image credit: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Fabregas is the latest figure associated with Barca to put his desire on record. The 2010 World Cup winner – who joined Serie B outfit Como earlier this week – said:

"As a Barcelona fan, I hope and I wish that Messi returns to Barcelona. He has one year left of his contract [with PSG]. I would love it if he returned. It is a dream that the club and all the fans have, but I speak to you as a fan of Barcelona."

Messi himself has recently opened up about his departure, explaining how he found the situation hard to process. Speaking to Argentine outlet TyC Sports (via the Mirror), he said:

"It was really difficult to understand what happened. I wasn't expecting to leave Barcelona; it was a shock."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...