Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona after 21 years, the club confirms

Barcelona has confirmed that Lionel Messi’s 21-year stay at the Nou Camp has come to an end, with speculation already mounting as to where his future lies.

It marks the end of an utterly historic run that has seen Messi become one of the greatest players in the history of the beautiful game. From memorable runs to fantastic goals and beyond, the Argentine has firmly cemented his legacy with 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey wins and four Champions League triumphs.

Farewell to the GOAT

Messi became a free agent earlier this summer but made his intention to stay at Barca crystal clear. Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite come to fruition, with the club releasing the following statement on the matter.

“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 Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration. 

“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.”

The speculation surrounding where he’s going to end up next has begun with Paris Saint-Germain currently being viewed as the frontrunner to land his signature. For now, though, the focus remains firmly on Messi’s legacy at Barcelona as fans continue to mourn his departure.

Featured image credit: Getty