In a shocking turn of events, FC Barcelona have confirmed that star player Lionel Messi is set to leave the club after both the parties failed to reach an agreement to sign a new contract. The club has confirmed that the contract could not be signed because of the financial and structural obstacles as per 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. 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," stated the club in their official statement.
End of an era in Spanish football
Lionel Messi made his debut for FC Barcelona back in 2003 as a 16-year-old kid in a friendly match against Porto. The magician never looked back ever since as he went on to play 778 matches for the club, scoring 672 goals and registering 305 assists to his name.
The Argentine broke all kinds of records during his time at the club, both individually and collectively. He won 34 trophies with FC Barcelona which includes 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey titles and 4 UEFA Champions Leagues. Meanwhile, he himself has won 6 Ballon d'Or awards and is regarded as one of the greatest players of all times because of all that he achieved at the club.
While Cristiano Ronaldo had already left Real Madrid few years back, the departure of Lionel Messi surely ends one of the most beautiful eras in Spanish football.
Which club will Messi play for this season?
As the 34-year-old leaves the club with immediate effect, the whole transfer market has suddenly erupted. Although Messi is a free agent, there are very few clubs who can meet his wages' demands. The only two clubs who would potentially be in race to secure the services of the Argentine captain would be PSG and Manchester City. With things expected to unfold in next few days, we are all set for one of the biggest ever signings in history of football with Messi set to play for a new club in 2021.