Lionel Messi’s era at FC Barcelona is about to end. The club confirmed this to the AP news agency on Tuesday evening. The Spanish radio station RAC1 also reported that the Spanish top club had confirmed that Messi had informed him in writing on Tuesday that he wanted to leave Barça after 17 professional years. Immediately. The 33-year-old is referring to the clause that allows him to terminate his contract on May 31 of each year.
The spirit of this clause is written in such a way that it takes effect after the season is over. Due to the Corona break, the season this year has been extended until this August. The transfer clause of 700 million euros, which is stipulated for contract termination after this date, is void.
The Argentine sports broadcaster TyC Sports and Fox Sports Argentina had previously reported that Messi wanted to draw a clause in his contract through which he could unilaterally terminate at the end of each season, it said. As TyC Sports reports, the six-time world footballer decided to take this decisive step, not just for him, after talking to the new Barça coach Ronald Koeman.
After the disastrous 8-2 in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against FC Bayern, Messi has not commented publicly on his future. The contract of the Argentine, who came from Rosario to the Catalan metropolis 20 years ago and among other things became a six-time world footballer at FC Barcelona, is valid until the end of June next year.
Messi has scored 634 goals in 731 games for Barça. His last game for Barça so far was the 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals against FC Bayern in Lisbon. Inter Milan recently showed interest in Messi. Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are also apparently looking into a commitment. One hurdle is certainly Messi’s net salary of 50 million euros annually.
Speculation that Messi might leave the club has been around for a long time. With the bankruptcy against Bayern they picked up speed. Koeman, who should lead the club to success again, actually wants to build a team around Messi. Club boss Josep Bartomeu had recently vigorously rejected the rumors of Messi’s departure when the 57-year-old ex-Barça professional Koeman was presented.
As a child, the Argentine international wasn’t big enough to convince top Argentine clubs of his talent. So Messi auditioned in Barcelona – and was immediately tied to the club with a signature on a napkin. From 2000 he was first used in the youth team of FC Barcelona. In his first game for Barcelona he scored five goals, in his first season he scored 35 goals in 30 games. In the 2004/05 season he made his league debut with the professionals. With his departure, a historical section comes to an end.