Former Barca captain Carles Puyol said this Sunday that Lionel Messi's decision to stay with Barcelona was great news for not only the club but also La Liga on a sporting and media level too.
"I, as a Barca fan, did not want Messi to go, but it's football. In the end he decided to stay, he said he's motivated and enthusiastic, and we hope he can stay with us many years. He's an enormous asset for La Liga, he's one of the best in the world," said Puyol, participating alongside Iker Casillas and La Liga president Javier Tebas in Milan at the festival of sport.
"Maybe Iker would have liked a Barca without Messi more," joked Puyol. "All football fans are in some way linked (with Messi, because his play is) fascinating."
Puyol also picked out the 6-2 win over Real Madrid in 2009 at the Bernabeu as his favourite Clasico.
"I debuted in the Clasico with a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou but if I have to pick one, it's the 2-6 at the Bernabeu. It was our first year with Pep Guardiola. We started the league well but Madrid were coming back. There were three games to go, we needed four points and to win this was the game that killed it."