Barcelona confirms Lionel Messi will not continue with the club
- Barcelona announced Lionel Messi will not renew his contract with club
- The Spanish giants said the decision was owing to "financial and structural obstacles"
- Last year, Messi had requested to leave the club
According to the statement, although both Barcelona and Lionel Messi reportedly reached an agreement and both parties were ready to sign a new contract today, the deal had to fall through due to financial constraints, poised by the La Liga regulations.
"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," the club added in its statement.
Furthermore, Barcelona expressed their gratitude to the player for "his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club" and wished him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.
Last year, the Argentine star, who recently won the Copa America, had requested to leave the club but finally ended up staying and decided to reconsider his options when the season was over. The player, who made his competitive debut for Barcelona in 2004, has been a free agent since the starting of July this year.
In 2003, Messi made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 16 against Porto in a friendly match. At this time, he was playing for the B team of Barcelona. At the age of 17, Messi became the youngest player ever to play for the club in an official match, according to reports from Insider.
A year later in 2005, Messi got signed the first contract and became a part of Barcelona's senior team. The signing also coincided with his 18th birthday, which falls on June 24.
Since then, Messi has helped the team garner major titles including La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. He has 778 appearances for the club and has scored over 672 goals and 288 assists.