Star Football Player Lionel Messi Leaves FC Barcelona Following Contract 'Obstacles'
17:52 GMT 05.08.2021 (Updated: 19:02 GMT 05.08.2021)
Having spent years with FC Barcelona and having won numerous titles, including six Ballon d'Or awards, it wasn't until August 2020 that it became clear the Argentine star wanted out of the team. At the time, the revelation came after the Spanish club had endured a humiliating 8-2 loss against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.
International football start Lionel Messi will not longer be a part of the famed FC Barcelona team after a contract renewal was blocked by a variety of "obstacles," it was confirmed by the club on Thursday.
A release issued by FC Barcelona indicates that Messi's highly-anticipated contract renewal was effectively a no-go due to "financial and structural obstacles" that emerged over the last several day during high-level discussions.
"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)," reads the release.
"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," it concluded.
Messi has not yet released a statement on the development.
Talk of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner wanting to split from the powerhouse club did not surface until August 25, 2020, when he officially sent the club a letter expressing his desire to leave amid growing conflict with the direction of the management of the team.
However, at the time, the club refused to acknowledge Messi's intended departure since the grace period for such a move had expired at the end of May, just three months before he sent his letter. If Messi wanted out, another club needed to pay his multimillion-dollar buyout clause.
The famous Argentine player began his career with the FC Barcelona camp starting in late 2000, when the club approached him for the up-and-coming youth league. It wasn't until late 2003 that Messi officially made his debut with the team, eventually going on to win his first La Liga title in 2004.
In total, Messi helped secure the club 10 La Liga champions, 7 Copa del Rey titles and four UEFA Champion League trophies, among numerous other accomplishments.