Barcelona Football club have announced that Lionel Messi has left the team.
The Catalan club released a statement saying that: ” 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 Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration.
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 34 year-old Argentinian international has been at the club for 21 years since starting as a youth player and became Barcelona´s top goal scorer in history.
It has been reported that Messi had agreed an in-principle five-year contract on reduced wages which apparently foundered on the Spanish football Liga’s financial regulations.
Messi had agreed to a 50% pay cut to €20m, however the club´s finances are in poor shape and salaries currently account for about 110% of income as well as an estimated debt of over a billion Euros.
In 2019-20 Barcelona’s salary limit was €671m, last season it was €347m, and the figure this season is substantially smaller again. Salary caps in Spain, shorthand for limits applied to all pre-tax spending on the squad, are not subject to punishments handed out retrospectively but are applied in advance.
International media are speculating where the striker will go for next season with both PSG and Manchester City being named as possible suitors.
Messi made 778 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 672 goals and winning 10 league titles, four Champions Leagues and three Club World Cups.