Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona: Details here
Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi will not continue his career at Barcelona anymore. Barca confirmed the same by issuing a statement. Notably, they were unable to offer a mutually acceptable contract due to financial and structural obstacles. Messi has officially been a free agent since July 1. Here we decode his numbers at Barcelona.
A statement issued by the club read, "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 added that Messi won't be staying and both parties regret that the relationship is coming to an end.
Barca expressed their gratitude for Messi's contribution. "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."
LATEST NEWS | Leo #Messi will not continue with FC Barcelona— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
Messi started his senior club career in the 2004-05 season. Messi has amassed 672 goals in 778 matches for the Spanish club. Messi has won a staggering 34 trophies at Barca. He has lifted 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey honors, 7 Spanish Super Cups, 4 Champions Leagues, 3 UEFA Super Cups, and 3 FIFA Club World Cups.
Messi rules the chart in La Liga in terms of assists (192). Messi holds the record for most assists made in a season (21 in 2019-20). He also holds the record for most La Liga goals in a season (50 in 2011-12) and the highest number of league goals in a calendar year (59 in 2012). He has scored against 38 different teams too.
After the completion of the 2020-21 edition of La Liga, Messi was awarded the Pichichi award. Messi has won the most number of Pichichi trophies in La Liga history (8). Messi won the first of his eight Pichichi awards in the 2009-10 season, clinching the top honor again in 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21.
Messi has won six Ballon d'Or awards (highest). The 34-year-old won FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2019. He has won six European Golden Shoes and two UEFA Men's Player of the Year awards. In La Liga, he has won six Best Player awards. He won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year in 2020.
Messi has been linked with a move to either the French side Paris St-Germain or Manchester City. Premier League champions City, who are set to sign Jack Grealish, could land Messi as a free agent. Major League Soccer (MLS) could be another option.