- A big blow for the Catalans as their stars wants to leave
- Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona FC and his lawyer sends a fax to the club
- Barcelona recently got humiliated by Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final
The 6 time Ballon d’Or winner and Barcelona FC star Lionel Messi have told his club that he wishes to leave – on a free transfer – in a “bombshell” fac on Tuesday which is expected to spark a legal battle over a buy-out clause which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Signalling the end of an era at the Catalans, where the 33 years old Argentinian holds the record of most goals scored and even won 4 Champions League Titles, the disgruntled forward player wants to terminate his contract “unilaterally” by triggering a release clause.
Relations between the Argentinian and the club took a nosedive this year and speculations rose about him leaving the club after Barcelona was humiliated by the German side Bayern Munich in the Quarter Final of the Champions League. The Catalans lost the game 2-8, leaving Barca without a trophy for the first time since 2007.
The world famous footballer’s demand, which was faxed by his lawyer, prompted protests against the Barcelona already under fire President Josep Maria Bartomeu outside the Camp Nou where Messi, synonymous with the club’s most successful period, is worshipped by fans.
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Ruben Tejero, 28, said that he “don’t see him anywhere else. I can’t believe it,”. He was one of about 100 fans at the stadium calling for Bartomeu to resign.
I prefer to think it’s an ultimatum given to management for Bartomeu to go.”
Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Inter Milan are among those to have been linked to Messi, who is among the greatest players in history and is called the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) by his fans and has wages to match, with a reported weekly salary of more than (EURO) € 1.3 million.
ESPN reported that Messi spoke last week with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola about a possible move.
A Barcelona-based Brazilian journalist also said Messi wants to play under his former Barcelona coach.
As of now, Barcelona FC has not reacted officially but are understood to believe the release clause if Messi’s contract expired in June, and that he remains under the contract until the end of 2021 season.
Spanish Sports daily Marca writes, “In principle, this clause expired on June 10, but the unusual nature of this season disrupted by the coronavirus opened the way for Messi to ask to be released from his contract now,”.
It added, “It’s the first step towards opening negotiations over his departure, on the basis of which his release clause amounts to 700 million euros ($828 million).”
At the age of 13, Lionel Messi joined the youth academy of Barcelona FC and made his debut in 2004 as a 17 year old before going on to score a club record 634 goals for them.
However, his future at the football club was thrown into questions when the Spanish club lost 2-8 against Bayern Munich, the first time Barca had conceded eight goals in a game since losing to Sevilla 8-0 in the 1946 Spanish Cup.
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This defeat shook the team to its core and resulted in some huge changes. Coach Quique Setien was sacked after barely six months in charge, and sporting director Eric Abidal was also dismissed.