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Twitter Explodes as Superstar Lionel Messi's Barcelona Exit Leaves Football World Stunned

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain
© AP Photo / SERGIO PEREZ

Football mega star Lionel Messi's previous contract with Barcelona expired on 30 June 2021. The 34-year-old footballer had agreed to take a 50-percent salary cut to stay with them, but La Liga's inability to find a solution to their financial mess led to the Argentine captain's exit from the club.

The news of Barcelona's talisman Lionel Messi's departure from the Catalan giants has spread like wildfire, leaving fans in a tizzy.

Barcelona's confirmation regarding Messi's future at the club came late last night after the Spanish side blamed "financial and structural obstacles" for their inability to register his new contract.

On the other hand, several names from the football world, including England legend Gary Linekar questioned Barcelona's intentions to keep their best player ever at Camp Nou.

While others posted hilarious memes featuring Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and their latest signing Jack Grealish, making fun of the duo after the English side announced a new deal with the former Aston Villa captain on Thursday.

"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)", the club said in an official statement released on their Instagram handle on Thursday.

"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", it added. 

Messi was expected to be back at Barcelona after the 6-time Ballon d'Or winner agreed in principal to sign a new 5-year deal with them in July, even agreeing to a significant pay cut. But La Liga's stringent fair play rules didn't allow club president, Joan Laporta, to secure his place in the team.

Just two weeks ago, ESPN reported that Barcelona's financial crisis had worsened after their attempts to reduce their wage bill failed and the club was struggling to meet La Liga's spending limits.

The only way Barca could have sealed Messi's spot in the side was moving out players and to be fair to them, Laporta did try his best to offload a number of players, including Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.

The club's total debt has now escalated to a mammoth $1.39 billion. And, the likes of Antoine Griezmann, who earns an impressive $41 million in annual wages and Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, whose yearly salary is around $28 million, have become liabilities for the iconic Spanish side.

However, the biggest question everybody is asking at the moment is where Messi will play in the upcoming season, which starts on 15 August.

Messi wanted to leave Barcelona last year due to his torrid relationship with then-President Josep Maria Bartomeu as he invoked the exit clause in his contract in August 2020. But the club didn't agree to a free transfer.

Now, when he had almost signed a new contract with them, Messi is being made to leave.

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