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Messi to leave Barcelona, club announce

The end of an era.

Lionel Messi (file pic).
Lionel Messi (file pic).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

LIONEL MESSI ‘WILL not continue with Barcelona,’ a statement from the club reads.

Messi, 33, joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old, but has been a free agent since his previous four-year deal expired on 30 June.

The Argentinian was widely linked with Manchester City and Paris St Germain last summer, though he was expected to stay at Nou Camp.

The full statement released this evening reads:

“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).

“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.”

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One of the best to have ever played the game, Messi won four Champions League crowns and 10 La Liga titles at Barca.

The club’s all-time top-scorer, he has won the Ballon D’Or award six times.

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella are joined by Craig Ray on The42 Rugby Weekly to preview the deciding third Lions Test on Saturday.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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