Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
Lionel Messi first made it clear back in August 2020 that he might abandon FC Barcelona. After years with the team, having won numerous titles, including six Ballon d'Or, Messi`s revelation came after a humiliating loss against Bayern Munich 8-2 in the Champions quarterfinals.
International football star Lionel Messi will be leaving the famed FC Barcelona team after a contract renewal was blocked by a variety of "obstacles," the club confirmed on Thursday.
A release issued by FC Barcelona indicates that Messi's highly-anticipated contract renewal was effectively a no-go due to "financial and structural obstacles" that emerged over the last several days during high-level discussions.
"Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations)," reads the release.
"As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled."
"FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life," it concluded.
Messi has not yet released a statement on the development.
�� "Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the top two for sure."
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are likely to be among the leading clubs that Lionel Messi may join after his departure from Barcelona, says Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero. pic.twitter.com/xoeQvZ4NF7
The topic of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner wanting to split from the Catalunyan club did not surface until August 25, 2020, when he officially sent the club a letter expressing his desire to leave amid growing conflict with the direction of the management of the team.
However, at the time, the club refused to acknowledge Messi's intended departure since the grace period for such a move had expired at the end of May, just three months before he sent his letter. If Messi wanted out, another club needed to pay his multimillion-dollar buyout clause.
The famous Argentine player began his career with the FC Barcelona camp starting in late 2000 when the club approached him for the up-and-coming youth league. It wasn't until late 2003 that Messi officially made his debut with the team, eventually winning his first La Liga title in 2004.
In total, Messi helped secure the club 10 La Liga champions, 7 Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champion League trophies, among numerous other accomplishments.