09:47 GMT24 September 2020
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    On 4 September, the 33-year-old revealed that he will stay in Barcelona for the 2020/2021 season. The announcement came 9 days after the Argentine superstar sent a transfer request saying he no longer wishes to play for the club.

    Social media has been flooded with memes ever since Lionel Messi announced he will stay in Barcelona, because of the $823 million buyout clause in his contract. There was a way to leave the club – via a court battle, something Messi said he can't do, because he loves Barcelona and is grateful for everything that the club has given him over the years.

    The athlete's statement undoubtedly made millions of Barcelona's fans happy, who were on egde for days following the athlete's shock announcement about his desire to leave the team

    However, other football fans were upset and angered that Messi had decided to stay in Barcelona,

    Many felt that one of the best football players in the history of the game is being kept prisoner by the Catalan club.

    Cristiano Ronaldo's fans used the situation to tease Messi, saying the athlete gave in to pressure and reiterated that Ronaldo is a better player than the Argentine.

    ​​Other netizens said that although Barcelona's management, including club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, managed to make Messi stay this was a pyrrhic victory, which will affect the team and its leadership's image.

    ​Many users said they were not surprised by Messi's decision as the athlete has a history of making statements and then changing his mind.

    Others accused Messi of using the transfer saga to get more money and Barcelona of trying to make people forget about their recent humiliating loss in the Champions League.

    Messi’s contract expires in the summer of 2021. Rumours say the athlete may leave the club as a free agent and join any club. Sports pundits criticised the actions of Barcelona saying that the club should have let Messi leave, noting that there will be no use for a player, who no longer wishes to perform for the club.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona, Lionel Messi
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