Story at a glance

  • Soccer superstar Lionel Messi is leaving his longtime team FC Barcelona.
  • “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,” the club’s statement read.
  • The 34-year-old scored 672 goals in 778 games for the club.

European soccer superstar Lionel Messi is leaving his longtime team FC Barcelona, the club announced in a statement Thursday. 

“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),” FC Barcelona’s statement said.

“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona,” the statement continued. “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,” the team concluded. 


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The 34-year-old scored 672 goals in 778 games for the club, and helped FC Barcelona win 10 LaLiga championships and four Champions League titles.  

Messi reportedly attempted to leave the team in 2020 after a dispute with former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, according to ESPN. The legendary player has been a free agent since June, despite agreeing to terms on a five-year deal. 


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Published on Aug 05, 2021