The rumours of discontent have been making rounds on sections of the media but now it is official, legendary Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has asked to leave the club this summer.
Well, let’s put it this way. Messi wants to leave the club he has been playing for since childhood with immediate effect. It is reported that Leo, who, having spoken to his family and lawyers, is desperate to leave the club. The way he thinks about it today is clear: this is not a battle for more power. He wants to leave. That is it.
The Argentina international, 33, sent a fax to the club on Tuesday saying he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.
This comes after Barca were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on 16 August. A result that has since not gone well with the fans and some of the players are believe to be disgruntled as well.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner made his debut for Barca in 2004 and has won the Champions League four times.
Barcelona, though, believe the clause has now expired and Messi is contracted to the club until 2021 with a 700m euro buy-out clause.
The board will meet soon and some consider the only thing that could placate Messi is the resignation of the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and early elections. But Messi seems determined to leave the club no matter what.
Reports also say, Barca fans gathered outside the Nou Camp to protest against the board and in support of the club’s record goalscorer after the news broke.
A legal battle is now set to follow between the club and the player. Messi had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave for free, if he informed the club of his desire before 10 June which has already passed..
Barca believe the clause has expired, but Messi and his team feel it should be extended to cover the prolonged season – which ran until August due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the clubs the Argentine is likely to join include; Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus, Chelsea and PSG. However, there is still no clear front runner.
Messi has broken many records in the footballing world among which include;
- Most goals scored in La Liga (444)
- Most Ballons d’Or in history and most Fifa World Player of the Year/Best Fifa Men’s Player Awards (6)
- Top goalscorer in all club competitions in a calendar year: 79 goals in 2012
- Only player to score more than 40 goals in 10 consecutive seasons
- Most goals scored for a single club in the Champions League (115)