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Journalist explains why he believes Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi listens to popular Nigerian pastor T.B. Joshua

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Nigerian freelance journalist Ihechukwu Njoku explains in this piece why he believes Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi listens to popular Nigerian pastor T.B. Joshua. He wrote:

Two days after Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua’s “candid advice” to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to reconsider his move from Barcelona, the Argentinian has remarkably reversed his decision and agreed to stay at the Catalan club for an extra year.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi

Joshua had taken to social media on Wednesday September 2, 2020, to advise Messi on the dangers of leaving Barcelona with bitterness.

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“It is not good advice for Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona bitter and offended,” the cleric began. “It is impossible to establish a healthy relationship with a person who left a previous relationship bitter and offended. This is my candid advice to Messi. History is our boss.”

When Joshua’s message was released, all indications still suggested Messi’s imminent exit with details of a huge deal lined up with Manchester City already being circulated online. 

Before a meeting with Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu, Messi’s father Jorge had unequivocally stated, “My son is not staying at Barcelona!”

However, the day after Joshua’s advice, Jorge curtly told Spanish media that his son was reconsidering his move and there was a possibility of him staying. 

Messi, the most successful player in the club’s history and regarded by many as the world’s best footballer, submitted his intentions to leave the club after a lackluster season at Barcelona and an alleged fallout with the hierarchy. 

Then on Friday 4th September 2020, Messi himself granted an exclusive interview to Goal.com where he admitted he had been planning to leave Barcelona throughout the year but decided to rescind his decision as he “didn’t want to fight against the club.”

“I’m now staying because the president told me that the only way I could leave was by paying the €700m release clause, which is impossible,” he explained.

When asked whether he planned on taking the club to court, Messi responded, “I’d never take Barca to trial because it’s the club I love and that’s given me everything since I joined.”

His announcement lays to rest an intense transfer saga which captured the attention of the world, considering the fact most people believed he would end his career at Barcelona.

Twitter was rife with people connecting Messi’s decision to stay with Joshua’s timely advice.

“Did TB Joshua’s advice to Messi work?” tweeted Kolawole. “The fact that many Nigerians talk down on that man doesn’t change the fact he’s highly respected in international circles, especially the sporting world. His words might actually be another decider.”

“Wow! Messi listened to Prophet TB Joshua,” added Bashir, also on Twitter.

The star footballer is now expected to join training sessions under new boss Ronald Koeman in preparation for the incoming season.

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Ihechukwu Njoku
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance writer on religious affairs

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