Official: Lionel Messi will not continue with Barcelona.
Messi will not renew at Barcelona
It has been confirmed by Barcelona that Lionel Messi will not be a member of their squad for the upcoming season.
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
Messi has been at Barcelona since 2005, and has made 778 appearances for the club, racking up 672 goals, 308 assists and 6 ballon d’ors in the process.
Widely seen as one of, if not the greatest player of his generation, Messi had become a free agent on 1st July 2021, but was expected to remain a Barcelona player on reduced terms. However, Marca reported earlier this evening that the deal had fallen through, and Barcelona have since taken to their official channels to confirm the news.
What the club said
In a statement, the Catalan club 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.
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.
Messi has been a crucial part of Barcelona’s club since he emerged on the scene, and has often singlehandedly won them games, trophies and league titles. On the back of a successful International summer, where he lifted the Copa America with Argentina, it was widely assumed that he would remain at Barcelona, but that no longer seems to be the case.
Speculation is already swirling around where Messi could end up, with Paris Saint Germain seemingly the favourites for his signature.