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End of an era: Barcelona says Messi won’t stay with the club

August 06, 2021
Argentine football star Lionel Messi will not be staying at Barcelona due to
Argentine football star Lionel Messi will not be staying at Barcelona due to "financial and structural obstacles", the club announced on Thursday evening. — Courtesy file photo

BARCELONA, Spain — Argentine football star Lionel Messi will not be staying at Barcelona due to "financial and structural obstacles", the club announced on Thursday evening.

The 34-year-old, who has been with the Catalan club all his career, has been a free agent after his contract expired at the end of June.

But he had been expected to sign a new five-year deal on reduced wages at the financially troubled Spanish giants.

"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)," read the statement.

"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 aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life."

Messi joined Barcelona two decades ago at age 13. Last August he stunned Barcelona by announcing that he wanted out after the 2019-2020 season ended without a title and his relationship with then club president Josep Bartomeu deteriorated.

The return of Joan Laporta to the club’s presidency in March has been key in bringing Messi back into the fold. Laporta ran Barcelona when Messi had his breakout as a teenager. — Euronews


August 06, 2021
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