Joan Laporta, Barcelona's president, is a lawyer and politician who served his first term as president from 2003 to 2010, overseeing one of the most successful periods in the club's history.
Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona at the age of 17, making him the youngest goal scorer in the club's history at that time.
Barcelona's debt of over one billion euros is one of the highest in football history.
Despite its financial issues, Barcelona has never been relegated from the top division, La Liga.
Messi's departure to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 was the first time in his professional career that he had played for a club other than Barcelona.
Laporta's conversation with Messi was the first time they had spoken since Messi's acrimonious departure from Barcelona.
Messi's potential salary in Saudi Arabia, reported at 400 million dollars a year, would make him one of the highest paid athletes in the world.
Despite having 400 million fans worldwide, Barcelona needs to make over 200 million euros in savings or new income to operate without restrictions under La Liga's financial fair play rules.
Messi won four Champions League and 10 La Liga titles during his time at Barcelona, a record for a single player at the club.
The Saudi Arabian interest in Messi represents a recent trend of Middle Eastern countries investing heavily in football.
Barcelona clinched La Liga title after a 4-2 victory over Espanyol, the club's long-standing city rivals.
Laporta made his intention to sign Messi known on Twitch, a platform not typically associated with football transfer announcements.
Despite Messi's lackluster performance at Paris Saint-Germain, his return to Barcelona would be a major coup for the club, given his status as an all-time great.
Messi wanted to stay at Barcelona despite the club's financial troubles, indicating his deep emotional attachment to the club.
If Messi returns to Barcelona, it would be a homecoming like few others in football history, given his legendary status at the club.
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