Thursday, August 5th marked a very sad and emotional day for both Messi and Barca fans as Barcelona FC announced that Lionel Messi won’t be staying at the club citing financial and structural obstructions.
The latest announcement comes as a major setback to the Barcelona Football Club as Messi has been one of the most successful star players the club has ever seen, having won them 10 LaLiga titles among many other trophies.
Argentina forward is an emotion to many (if not ALL!) of the Barca fans. The club’s desperate yet radical decision towards Messi’s departure has become a cause of widespread backlash among fans all around the world.
Follow through as we disclose the story behind the dumbfounding announcement that marks the end of an era of a G.O.A.T leaving one of the biggest FCs, along with the latest updates and whole timeline of Messi-Barca events.
Lionel Messi and Barcelona | End of an Era
Messi who first joined the FC’s academy as a young 13 y/o lad has had a 21-year long and magnificent Barca career. So what exactly led Barcelona to let go of a player like Messi who served the club for 17 seasons?
Well, the reason to let go of a world-class player with Messi’s caliber was downright desperate as the club didn’t have sufficient funds to afford his salary.
Before the pandemic, Barcelona’s spending that stood at over €600 million was slashed down to €347m last season and is expected to be further reduced for upcoming campaigns.
Barcelona FC has been facing financial problems since the LaLiga regulations that require Spanish clubs to comply with a limiting spending budget on salaries and signings as determined by LaLiga.
While Messi had reached an initial, loose 5-year extension agreement to stay with the Catalan side until 2026, the club’s need to reduce the wage bill, as per La Liga’s regulations, saw both parties leading into a failed attempt at registering a new contract.
Quite evidently, the club said in a statement,
“Despite having reached an agreement with Messi and with both parties clearly wanting to sign a new contract, it cannot be finalised due to financial and structural problems [citing the Spanish league rules].”
Barcelona also added, “Given this situation, Messi will not continue his relationship with Barcelona… Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.” in its statement.
Messi and Barca | Fall-Out Timeline
The Messi-Barca fall-out timeline first started in the summer of last year when Messi tried to leave the FC believing a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for free which Barca dismissed. Ultimately, with the likelihood of a legal battle in the offing, Messi backed down and ended up staying against his will.
Here is the overview of major events in the Messi-Barca timeline.
25 August 2020: Messi sends a fax to the club expressing his wish to leave (for free) with immediate effect with respect to a clause in his contract that allows him to do so.
4 September 2020: Messi declares his continued stay at Barcelona citing the payment of €700m (or £624m) for his release clause as “impossible” for any team.
27 October 2020: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns.
28 December 2020: Messi expresses his hopes to play in the United States one day, and points towards his uncertain future pertaining to his contract running out.
28 May 2021: The new Barcelona president, Joan Laporta suggests that “things are going well” but a new contract for Lionel Messi is yet to be done.
30 June 2021: Messi’s Barcelona contract is set to expire at the stroke of midnight.
1 July 2021: Lionel Messi officially becomes a free agent.
15 July 2021: Messi and Barca agree on a five-year “loose” agreement to continue the association.
5 August 2021: Barcelona announces Lionel Messi will not be continuing his stay at the club pertaining to “financial and structural obstacles”.
“Barca would like to wholeheartedly thank the player for his contribution to the growth of the institution and wish him the best in his personal and professional life“, the FC added in the bidding goodbye statement.
Currently, Lionel Messi is the most in-demand free-agent player in the football universe.
Messi and Barca | Shared Trophies
The journey of Lionel Messi in Barcelona saw both his as well as the club’s success. Having played 778 games for the club, Lionel Messi broke Xavi Hernandez’s appearance record last season. Along with that, Messi has also scored the club’s record 672 goals.
Here is a general overview of the trophies that Lionel Messi has helped Barca win.
|S.No.||League/Tournament||No. of Trophies|
|4.||UEFA Super Cup||3|
|5.||Copa del Rey||7|
|6.||Club World Cup||3|
With this, it’s time to wrap up the article. We hope the article gave you clear insight and understanding behind the latest announcement of Messi’s departure from Barcelona FC. The coming weeks will definitely be interesting as major clubs will try to fight it off in a bid to induct one of the world’s best and richest athletes into their clubs.
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Feature Image Credit: Sky Sports