By Mukwuzi Joseph
Spanish giant Barcelona FC have confirmed that their superstar Lionel Messi has ended his 17 years illustrious sojourn at the Catalan side.
An official statement by the club on Thursday hinged the decision on restrictions placed by the Spanish football federation owing to the precarious state of the club’s finances.
Already, the club have informed the player’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, of the non-continuity after both sides had earlier agreed on a revised contract for the maestro.
“Despite having reached an agreement between Barça and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalise due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations),” the club said.
“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”, the statement added.
During his time at Barca, Messi made 742 appearances, scoring 640 goals while providing 258 assists. He won 290 Man of the Match awards.
The 34-year-old forward has won the Balloon d’Or, an award for world’s best player, for a record six times.
Messi has no known current negotiation with any club but fingers will be pointing at big spenders, France’s Paris St Germaine and England’s Manchester City as probable destination for the football god.