It’s official. Messi is leaving FC Barcelona after 17 years. On August 5, Barcelona issued a statement informing all the fans that their most lucrative player had finished his last season in the club.
Although both Messi and the club reached an agreement, the contract cannot be registered. Due to the problems with finances, Messi even agreed to a 50% lower salary.
However, the rules of LaLiga, the top Spanish league, are preventing Barcelona from signing Messi due to financial fair play requirements they can’t fulfill.
Messi’s previous 4-year contract was valued at $673 million (€555 million), plus benefits. This is the largest contract in sports history, making Messi the highest-paid soccer player. With a 50% cut, he would still receive around $336 million for a four-year contract.
Since Barcelona is $1.18 billion in debt, LaLiga regulations prevent them from offering this amount of money to a player.
Although he won 10 LaLiga titles, 4 UEFA Champions Leagues, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, and scored 672 goals, he had to say goodbye.
Moreover, Messi already wanted to leave the club in 2020 due to a disagreement with the then-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. But after a new president, Joan Laporta, was elected, he decided to stay.
But now, considering his previous contract ended on June 30, Messi is a free player.
Since Barcelona issued the statement, there are speculations that Messi will receive an offer from PSG in a few days. Most sources report that $47 million (€40 million) is the yearly pay they will offer.
Another club associated with an offer to Messi is Manchester City, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
One thing is certain, though. One of the top soccer players in the world is definitely going to find a club soon and continue showing the world what soccer is all about.