Barcelona and Lionel Messi to part ways
The Argentinian footballer said goodbye to the Catalan team where he's played since his academy days, due to "economic and structural obstacles" from the Spanish league.
The F.C. Barcelona announced the departure of Lionel Messi, the star of Argentina and soccer legend on Thursday, Aug. 5. Barça said the decision was taken because the team and the player could not finalize a new contract.
"Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles," said the club in an official statement.
ÚLTIMA HORA | Leo Messi no seguirá ligado al FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 5, 2021
After the rumors had circulated a few months ago about the possible departure of Messi from Barcelona, both parties agreed on the renewal of the player's contract. Messi officially became a free agent on July 1, but Barcelona had always expressed their interest in keeping him at the club.
It is currently unknown which team Messi will belong to next, however, the world is speculating that the only team capable of reaching Messi's expectations on and off the field is the richest club in the world, Paris Saint German.
Neymar, who played in Barcelona and now plays for PSG, has made a gesture that has not gone unnoticed on social media. The Brazilian player ignited all the fans' expectations by liking an illustration that shows him and Messi hugging and wearing the shirt of the Parisian team.
Soccer fans also speculate that PSG is one of the only teams that can afford Messi's salary, with a trajectory in line with the interests of the current South American champion.
Messi retired after more than two decades playing at the club where he became a professional footballer after 778 games, 672 goals and 35 titles (including 10 league titles and four European Champions Leagues).
F.C. Barcelona is currently in an economic crisis, and it is estimated that it has a gross debt of more than 488 million euros.
Joan Laporta, president of the club, said he needs to reduce the club's expenses, which is why he has made the tough decision to sell several of his players worth 28.5 million euros.
In addition to player sales, the club must continue to lower its wage bill to comply with the financial regulations of the Spanish league.