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Barcelona given some respite from off-field issues with stunning comeback

March 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 59.4%. 2 min read.

Barcelona fans were given some respite from the club's off-the-field troubles as Lionel Messi and Co. mounted a stunning comeback to beat Sevilla and advance to the Copa del Rey final.

(CNN)Barcelona fans were given some respite from the club's off-the-field troubles as Lionel Messi and Co. mounted a stunning comeback to beat Sevilla and advance to the Copa del Rey final.

In the end, it was Barcelona's Danish forward Martin Braithwaite who made himself the hero, heading home from Jordi Alba's cross just four minutes into extra time to add a bright spot to an otherwise turbulent week, bookended by seminal moments in the club's history.

On Monday, four senior Barcelona officials were arrested, and this coming Sunday, the club faces arguably its most consequential presidential election to date.

The problems facing the incoming president are numerous -- from historic debts reported to be more than one billion dollars to a weak squad that needs rebuilding -- but top of the agenda is the future of club captain and talisman Messi.

The Argentine made public his desire to leave Barcelona last summer and it looks increasingly unlikely he will sign a new contract, meaning the greatest player in the club's history can walk away for free at the end of the current season.

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Messi has been free to speak with potential suitors for two months now, but has reportedly decided to wait until after the elections to make a decision on his future.

All three candidates have publicly stated that Messi's future will take precedent over any other issues and whoever emerges victorious will have his work cut out to repair the fractured relationship the club's star has with the board.

Back in February, Barcelona issued a statement to say it "categorically" denied responsibility for the publication of Messi's $672 million contract in Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

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