Sunday was an emotional day for Lionel Messi. After 21 years, Messi will leave FC Barcelona, a club that signed him in 2000. Messi joined the club before two decades, at the age of 13 made his competitive debut in 2004. He now leaves the La Liga club after 17 successful seasons in which he won a staggering 35 titles including four UEFA Champions League crowns, 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys, and eight Supercopa de Espanas.
In a statement released, the La Liga club cited “financial and structural obstacles” and blamed “Spanish league regulations” on player registration for being unable to sign a new contract with the player. 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. The club and he agreed on a five-year contract with Messi taking a 50% pay cut but the deal didn’t materialise. La Liga’s financial regulations prevented him from staying and ending his career at Barcelona. Lionel Messi fought back tears as he began a press conference at which he confirmed he is leaving Barcelona, the football club where he has played his entire career. He was emotional before he even made an opening statement. “I cannot imagine leaving the club in such a way. I will be back soon and do all I can to help the club to become the best in the world,” Lionel Messi said.
Last year he asked to leave the club but changed his mind. This time he came to an agreement to stay but financial stumbling blocks at Barca meant La Liga would not allow the deal.