Argentine footballer Lionel Messi’s time at Barcelona has come to an end.
The club announced on Thursday that Messi will not sign a new contract because of financial and structural obstacles. The club also added that both parties had reached an agreement about signing the contract.
“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,” the statement read.
Messi had first joined Barca's academy in 2000 and up until now has played 778 games scoring scored 672 goals, a club record. He has helped Barca win, among other trophies, 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on 4 occasions.
Earlier in the summer, Barcelona made a series of signings, bringing in Messi’s longtime friend and Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero, Netherlands’ Memphis Depay and Spain’s Eric Garcia, as well as recalling Emerson Royal.
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