- Lionel Messi will depart Catalan club Barcelona according to a blockbuster statement by the club on Thursday, August 5
- The Argentine scored a total of 672 goals for Barcelona first team having made a total of 778 appearances
- Messi spent a total of 18 years at the club winning 4 Champions League titles, 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa Del Rey tophies amongst others
Lionel Messi is finally saying goodbye to Spanish club Barcelona after the Catalan giants released a blockbuster statement.
The 34-year-old superstar's contract ended in June and he had agreed to extend his deal with the Spanish La Liga outfit
Reports by FC Barcelona say "Messi is not staying", meaning he leaves the club having spent a staggering 18 years.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner won several titles with the club including 4 Champions League titles, 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa Del Rey tophies amongst others.
The Barcelona statement said:
"Despite having reached an agreement between Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalize due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations).
"Faced with this situation, Lionel Messi will not continue to be linked to Barcelona. The two parties deeply regret that the wishes of both the player and the Club cannot finally be fulfilled.
"Barça wants to thank with all the heart the player's contribution to the aggrandizement of the institution and wishes him the best in his personal and professional life.”
The 2021 Copa America winner has been a free agent since July 1, but Barcelona officials had claimed that he would be signing for another five years.
And due to Barca's financial struggles, Lionel Messi even agreed to take a 50 per cent pay cut before rejoining the only team he has ever represented.
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Latest reports mean the club may not be financially capable of financing Messi's deal, and now he officially leaves.
Messi threatened to leave Barcelona last summer
Recall that Messi had in August last year tendered his transfer request following a poor 2019-2020 season.
Barca was dealt a major blow after the forward informed the club he wanted to leave having made up his mind to walk away from the club.
The Argentine maestro made his intentions to leave Barca known via a bureaufax message.
He was eventually forced to rescind his decision after both Barcelona and the La Liga cited a clause in his contract as he further promised to fight for titles.