Lionel Messi’s glorious career at FC Barcelona has ended after more than two remarkable decades, the club and player revealed this Thursday night. His last three-year contract expired last month, and both parties failed to find a solution for a new one.
Messi displayed his displeasure with the team’s decision-making recently. One of the most famous number 10s in football almost left last summer as well, but his transfer request was rejected. Despite spending his entire football life playing for Barça, Lionel was left chagrined after a series of disappointing results, such as the degrading 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last August.
Consequently, Messi quarrelled with the previous FC Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. So, when the former Barça chief was replaced by Laporta, with whom Messi had an excellent relationship, pundits believed the athlete will continue gracing the Nou Camp pitch. Alas, that reality failed to materialize to the disappointment of the whole football world.
The club has declared that the failure to formalize Messi’s new deal (five-year contract with a halved salary) results from financial obstacles imposed by La Liga, such as the new salary cap rules. During today’s press conference, Laporta laid the blame for their recent financial ruin on his predecessor. However, the club also failed to back a sales deal of La Liga to a private equity firm, which would have allowed the team to keep the greatest football player of all time.
So, where is Messi headed next?
Allegedly, Paris Saint-Germain are the frontrunners to sign Lionel Messi after establishing direct talks as soon as they heard the news of his departure. While they will have to shell out a massive check, the expenses will undoubtedly be mitigated by the additional revenue driven by such an acquisition. Not like Messi will be a stranger over there. His former teammate Neymar, with whom he made an unstoppable duo before Neymar left for PSG, is strongly endorsing the move—even posting a makeshift image of their embrace where Messi is donning the PSG jersey.
No matter which club ends up utilizing the unrivalled talents of the sport’s greatest ever, the public will surely remain enthralled until he leaves the football pitch for good. Keep track of this story since new developments are unfolding frequently.