One of the world’s finest player and six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi is set to leave FC Barcelona.
This was announced in a statement by the Spanish club on Thursday.
The statement 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 aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
It was learnt that Messi decided to leave Barcelona after the La Liga club failed to fulfil a new contract they agreed with the Aventine.
Messi has officially been a free agent since July 1 after he failed to agree terms over a renewal before his previous Barcelona contract expired on June 30.
However, the 34-year-old had been expected to sign a new five-year contract with the Catalan club, which would have seen his salary reduced by 50 per cent.
Messi’s entire football career had been at Barcelona. He played at the club’s academy and made his senior debut in 2003, scoring 672 goals in 778 appearances.