The Argentine star Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona Football Club after staying for 21 years. Messi signed for the club back in 2000 as a 13-year-old. Messi made his debut in 2004 and he soon became one of the very best players in the world.
Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona FC
The 34-year-old’s contract ran out in June but there was optimism that he would sign an extension. It was widely believed that he would sign a new five-year deal with the club this week.
However, the deal has fallen through, with Barcelona blaming financial constraints as the reason. Barcelona made the announcement officially that Messi would not continue to play for the team.
“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 Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration.”
“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.”
Messi was free to negotiate a transfer with other clubs after his deal ran out at the end of June, but Barcelona had always maintained he wanted to stay with the club. The 34-year old was reported to sign a new five-year deal.
Messi had tried to leave Barcelona in August 2020, making a formal request for an exit after a breakdown in his relationship with then president Josep Maria Bartomeu but successor Joan Laporta, who presided over the Argentine’s rise to greatness, convinced him to stay.
Messi, who joined Barca’s youth set-up aged 13, is the club’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions.
Messi has not yet been in contact with any other club. But it is believed that he wants to continue playing at a high level for a top European club.