Barcelona have confirmed that six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has left the club as he cannot sign a new contract because of financial and structural obstacles.
The club has released a statement following speculation over the player’s future.
“Despite club and player reaching an agreement and their clear intention to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles
“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,” reads the statement posted on Barcelona’s Facebook page.
Messi is considered by many people across the world as the greatest player to have played football.
He joined the club in 2004 and 778 games, scoring 672 goals and providing 305 assists. Messi won La Liga 10 times, Copa del Rey seven times, Supercopa de España seven times, UEFA Champions League four times, UEFA Super Cup three times, and Club World Cup three times.
He is a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, six-time European Golden Shoe winner and six-time La Liga Best Player.