The speculation came after Barcelona’s gruelling 8-2 defeat against Champions League winners Bayern Munich. With the future of the club blurry and a lack of solidarity in the team, rumours began spreading on Messi’s imminent departure.
The shock news was confirmed today after Barcelona admitted he’d been in contact with Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu to discuss the potential of an exit.
However, although he may want to leave, the legality of his exit has come into question. A number of respected journalists have commented on a clause in his contract which would see him leave this summer on a free, although the technical issues are to be thrashed out today in an emergency meeting.
The Argentinian winger may be forever regarded as Barcelona's greatest ever player, scoring 634 times in over 700 appearances and racking up 285 assists. His trophy cabinet says it all, with 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League medals contributing to his club record 34 trophies.
He arrived at the Catalonian side in 2001 as a young talent, full of aspiration and hope as to what he may achieve with the club. After 19 years of blood, sweat and tears, it’s safe to say he’s achieved more than any player could dream of. His 6 Ballon d'Ors are a clear sign of his dominant status in world football, with speculation already starting on where he might move next.
Club legend and former teammate Carlos Puyol had this to say on the announcement…
With the situation evolving by the hour, be sure to keep your eyes on The Courier Sport as we give you all the latest news in this truly significant event.