Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi leave FC Barcelona despite both parties having reached an agreement over a new contract, the La Liga club said on Thursday, citing economic and structural obstacles to the renewal of the deal.
The Argentine star’s latest deal expired this summer but he was expected to commit to a new contract ahead of the new season. ESPN revealed in July that a loose agreement over a five-year extension had been reached. Barca has been unable to register Messi’s new contract with La Liga while complying with the league’s financial fair play rules.
Messi, who joined Barca’s youth set-up aged 13, is the club’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions.
Official Statement by FC Barcelona
A statement on FC Barcelona’s website read:
“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.”
“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.”
Thank you, Leo. pic.twitter.com/cdS9xWe8Me— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
Why did Lionel Messi leave FC Barcelona?
Barcelona has announced that Lionel Messi is leaving the club after “financial and structural obstacles” made it impossible to renew his contract. It had been hoped the agreement would keep Barcelona within the boundaries of La Liga’s financial fair play regulations but that has proved impossible.
Barcelona needed to move players out to renew Messi’s deal and they have not been able to find the solution. The club, whose total debt is about €1,173m, is constrained by the league’s salary cap. Messi has agreed to a 50% pay cut, dropping from about €45m basic, after-tax, to closer to €20m.
In 2019-20 Barcelona’s salary limit was €671m, last season it was €347m, and the figure this season is substantially smaller again. Salary caps in Spain, shorthand for limits applied to all pre-tax spending on the squad, are not subject to punishments handed out retrospectively but are applied in advance.
What’s really happened between Lionel Messi and FC Barçalona
Lionel Messi was in Barcelona with his father Jorge to sign a contract until June 2026. There was no tension or problem with the team, market strategies, or Cristian Romero’s deal.
Total verbal agreement was reached with Messi for weeks. Barcelona also had an official statement and announcement scheduled on Thursday evening to celebrate Leo Messi’s signing until 2026.
After further contact with La Liga during the day, Barcelona told Messi they’re blocked by La Liga financial rules & they’re not able/allowed to sign his contract now.
Barcelona will have issues also with other players being registered after the La Liga rules. Leo Messi appreciated Laporta’s honesty during the meeting and he was shocked after the forced decision by Barça.
Lionel Messi Achievement
x10 La Liga
x7 Copa del Rey
x4 Champions League
x3 Club World Cup
x20 Top Scorers
x6 Ballon d’Or
x3 UEFA POTY
x1 Fifa Men’s POTY
778 Games 672 Goals 305 Assists
Next Destination: Messi to PSG or Manchester City?
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are likely to be among the leading clubs that Lionel Messi may join after his departure from Barcelona.
Paris Saint-Germain started new contacts to ask about Leo Messi’s situation yesterday, right after La Liga blocked the new contract agreement with Barça.
Some sources are stating that Manchester City is Lionel Messi’s ‘first choice’ and PSG switch ‘looking impossible’ due to France’s high taxes.
PSG has to sell Mbappe in order to make this transfer somewhat possible. Manchester City just signed Jack Grealish for 100£ and gave him no. 10 shirt. Is it too early to ask Jack Grealish for the no.10 shirt at Man City? We’ll see..