On Thursday, the Spanish giants announced that the captain will no longer stay at the club after 21 years with a bombshell statement, claiming that La Liga rules made it impossible for Barça to register Messi’s contract,
According to Mundo Deportivo, Messi and his family were quite taken aback by Barcelona’s announcement. Having been on a holiday in Ibiza since the conclusion of Argentina’s Copa America campaign, Messi had returned from the vacation to sign his contract on Wednesday.
Reports in the media as well as the comments from the Barca board assured fans of Messi’s stay, with only the signature of the Argentine forward keeping them from making an official announcement.
Barca, on Thursday, August 5, called Messi to inform him that they could not register him as a player due to La Liga’s restrictions. The club, hence, was forced to say goodbye to Lionel Messi, their greatest player ever.
“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 Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration.
Messi, as has been understood, had no intentions of leaving Barcelona and was looking forward to spending the coming years with his boyhood club. The 32-year-old hasn’t made any public reaction to the development and isn’t expected to do that anytime soon either.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or six times and is Barcelona’s record goalscorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances.
The Argentina international has won 35 major titles at club level since making his debut in 2003 – 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns, seven Copa del Rey trophies, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and eight Spanish Super Cups.
The developments come a year after Messi handed in a transfer request with 12 months of his Barca deal remaining, but was stopped from leaving at the time because of the €700m (£629m) buy-out clause in his contract.