BUENOS AIRES – Argentina and Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa said Tuesday that his compatriot Lionel Messi would be welcome to join the current La Liga leaders should he leave Barcelona this summer.
Messi’s contract with the Blaugrana is due to expire in June, and it is unclear whether the 33-year-old will continue with the club he joined aged 13. He has not commented on his future since a failed attempt to force a transfer last August.
“The lads have already told him, and he knows that the doors are open here. Who wouldn’t want to have Messi in their team?”, Correa told Argentine television network TyC Sports on Tuesday.
Correa added that La Liga would lose an invaluable asset if six-time Ballon d’Or-winner Messi decided to relocate to another country.
“It would be a major loss for La Liga,” the 25-year-old said. “He is still the best, and he will always be. What he has done in his career, I don’t know if we’ll ever see again.”
Correa also expressed surprise at Barcelona’s decision to release Luis Suarez in September. The Uruguay international forward subsequently joined Atletico Madrid, with whom he has scored 14 goals in 20 matches.
“[Barcelona] did things wrong,” Correa said. “First, how are they going to let a No. 9 that wins you matches get away? We are happy because he is now with us.
“He is an incredible striker. It seems that every half chance he is presented with, he scores. He is also a team player, not just a striker who wants to score goals. He works very well tactically and helps the team a lot.”