Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona, the club have confirmed on Thursday evening.
The Blaugana’s all-time top scorer and greatest ever player looked set to take a 50 per cent pay cut to stay at the Nou Camp but negotiations did not progress well and he will now be leaving the club after many trophy-laden years.
A 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.”
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
Messi has spent his entire career at Barcelona and his shock departure well and truly marks the end of an era.