Barcelona is honoring former legend Lionel Messi with an official tribute in the future at Camp Nou, the club’s home stadium. The Argentina international departed the Catalan club in 2021 after spending over 20 years in Spain. However, the tribute will take time to organize and will not happen this summer due to stadium issues.

Club president Joan Laporta announced plans for the Messi tribute during a recent wide-ranging interview on television network Esport3.

“I agreed with [Messi’s family] to pay tribute [to Messi],” Laporta said on the possibility for the event. “The opening day of the Spotify Camp Nou would be an excellent date.”

Camp Nou renovations to include Messi tribute

Barca is currently renovating their home stadium and will not play at Camp Nou during the upcoming 2023/24 campaign. Instead, the reigning LaLiga champions are set to host matches at nearby Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. The arena was built in 1927. While it first served as a way to help Barcelona win the 1936 Olympic bid, it did house the American football team Barcelona Dragons. Fellow soccer club Espanyol previously held home games at the stadium as well.

There are current plans in place for Barca to move back into Camp Nou ahead of the 2024-25 season. However, the club will likely have to play home matches during this campaign with the stands at half capacity. Renovations are scheduled to be completed during the 2025/26 season.

Laporta claims Messi wanted Barca reunion

Along with revealing a tribute to Messi, Laporta also spoke on the player’s decision to join Major League Soccer side Inter Miami this summer. The exec claims that Messi preferred to return to Barca, but it was financially impossible. “Messi wanted to return to Barca,” proclaimed Laporta. “He had a very hard spell in Paris. His father [Jorge] told me that he didn’t want to have this pressure. The Catalans respect him. May he do very well in Miami. Barca will always be his home.”

Nevertheless, Messi has opted to sign with Miami and will soon join up with his new teammates. The superstar is set to receive an extended vacation before making his MLS debut. Miami’s managing owner previously announced that Messi is aiming to first feature for the team on July 21.