Lionel Messi leaves FC Barcelona. Due to the financial constraints facing Spanish football clubs, it has not been possible to sign a new contract with Messi. That’s what the club has on Thursday evening announced. Messi, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, has been under contract with Barcelona since 2000 and wore the shirt of the Catalan club throughout his professional career.
In recent weeks, Messi (34) and Ronald Koeman-trained Barcelona have been negotiating a new contract. Messi’s old contract, good for 138 million euros a year, expired at the end of June. Both the footballer and the club wanted to continue working together. But that will not happen, according to FC Barcelona due to “financial obstacles”, which have to do with “rules of the Spanish League”.
To keep spending on transfers and salaries within limits, clubs in Spain are allowed to spend a limited amount each year. The amount depends on their income – which fell significantly last year due to the corona crisis. As a result, Messi’s old salary fell far beyond the spending limit. According to insiders from the football world, the attacker would have been willing to settle for half his old fee, but as it turns out, that was still not enough.
Messi made his debut in the first team of FC Barcelona in 2004. In the following seventeen seasons, he played more than eight hundred official matches for the club, in which he became the club’s top scorer with 683 goals. With Barcelona, Messi won the national championship ten times and the Champions League four times. He was also named the best player in the world six times.