It is a tragic day for soccer fans, especially FC Barcelona fans.
After more than two decades, Barcelona’s legendary player Lionel Messi is leaving the Football Club.
Barcelona’s official Facebook account made the announcement on Thursday, August 5.
Their statement read, “Leo Messi not staying at 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 (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,” the statement continued. “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 became a free agent at the stroke of midnight on June 30.
Since the contract expiration, the soccer star and FC Barcelona have been in talks and negotiations over a new contract.
According to ESPN, Messi and FC Barcelona reached an agreement for the forward to sign a five-year deal with the club in July. Messi even agreed to take a massive pay cut in order to prolong his stay with the team.
Since becoming a free agent and expressing a desire to leave Barca last summer, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have expressed interest in the soccer player.
ESPN reports the 34-year-old’s previous contract was worth over €500 million ($594m) over four years.
Messi started his Barcelona career at the age of 13. His first written commitment with Barcelona was written and signed on the back of a napkin.
The End of an Era!
While playing in Argentina, Messi found out he suffered from a growth hormone deficiency that could have ended his career before it really took off.
According to DreamTeamFC.com, Messi began injecting growth hormones into his own legs before he was a teenager.
“I injected my legs once every night. I started at 12 years old. It was not something that left an impression on me,” the soccer star said in an intimate interview.
He added, “At first my parents gave me the injections from when I was eight years old until I learnt. It was a small needle. It did not hurt, it was something routine for me that I had to do and I did it normally.”
Barcelona paid for all of his medical needs until he finished the hormone treatment at 14.
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Fans took to Twitter to express their sadness and remorse over the news.
One fan wrote, “I cannot go through my academic year with Messi in another team.”
Another wrote, “I refuse to believe this is true and a part of me really thinks he’s gonna be back… Thank you for everything, Leo!”
“FC Barcelona says goodbye to its best ever player. It should’ve been with 80,000 fans at the Camp Nou, roaring down the streets of Barcelona, singing and chanting his name. Instead, he leaves quietly after contract disputes, all during a pandemic. Thank you, Leo #Messi 💔,” a devastated fan tweeted.
At this time, Messi has not issued a formal statement or spoken out on social media.