La Liga regulations prevent Messi from continuing with Barcelonatext_fields
After months of speculations, six-time Ballon d'Or winner and Argentine international Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona following a dramatic turnout. It was widely believed that Messi would renew the contract and will stay in Spain for another five years.
The Spanish club in its official statement said 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 financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations)."
Messi had first expressed a desire to leave Barca last August after the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. His relationship with the then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu had reached a breaking point. In a September 2020 interview with Goal, after Barca had blocked his departure, Messi called Bartomeu a "liar" and said the board had been "making things up as they go along" and "plugging holes" for years.
However, it was widely believed that a strong relationship between Messi and Laporta, President of Barcelona, will act as key in sealing the contract. Sources earlier revealed that Barca will make a formal announcement by the end of July and both the parties had agreed on the deal verbally. The share of the blame in large part is on Spanish league regulations as those created the major "obstacles" and acted key in the deal not coming through.
The previous contract expired at the stroke of midnight on June 30. Early sources said Messi agreed to stay with a significant salary cut. Catalans are undergoing a huge financial crisis which acted as a hindrance to getting the deal closed. Barcelona management has been continuously working to resolve the salary issue for the past few weeks. Barcelona's salaries currently account for about 110% of their income and their president, Joan Laporta, has admitted: "We do not comply with financial fair play regulations.". Even then, Messi agreed to a 50 per cent salary cut and was believed this would stay within the boundaries of financial regulations of La Liga. The dramatic turnout from the contract proves it impossible. This recent development will take president Laporta into an awkward and troubling position as he was elected on the promise to make a contract with Messi
Barca's official statement added, "FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life."
Messi started his life at Barcelona academy in 2000 and joined the senior team, the only professional club in his career in 2004. Messi has made 778 appearances for Barcelona, scoring a remarkable 672 goals which have helped them to claim 10 league titles, four Champions Leagues and three Club World Cups among his haul of 35 trophies. PSG and Manchester City have already expressed a strong interest in the player, now the cloud is all clear and Barcelona is helpless to block Messi from joining their European rivals.