Lionel Messi Exits Barcelona After 17 Years

Lionel Messi Exits Barcelona After 17 Years

Lionel Messi's will leave after 17 years, stated a report on Friday.

Messi's Barcelona contract will not be renewed and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will leave the club despite both parties reaching an agreement earlier.

In a statement released, the La Liga club cited "financial and structural obstacles" and blamed "Spanish league regulations" on player registration for being unable to sign a new contract with the player. Messi's previous one had expired on June 30.

The statement further said, "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).

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, informed the statement.

"FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life," the statement added.

At the young age of 13, Messi arrived Barcelona and made his competitive debut for the club in 2004. He will be leaving now after 17 successful seasons where he propelled the Catalan club to glory.

He has made no immediate public statement so far.

Messi won 35 titles, including four UEFA Champions League crowns, 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys, and eight Supercopa de Espanas playing for Barcelona in the 17 years.

According to a report from The Indian Express, as soon as news broke of Messi's exit from Barcelona, Twitter wasted no time to recall Neymar's Instagram post where the Brazilian was spotted with the Argentine star on Wednesday.

In Messi's previous contract, signed in 2017, he reportedly earned 138 million euros ($163 million) per season. He is now a free agent.

Barcelona was one of the clubs hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The league slashed its salary cap last season and the club had been trying to clear cap space by releasing some of its players. It had only signed free agents this summer — including Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia — to avoid paying transfer fees, stated the report.

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