Lionel Messi
Lionel Messiצילום: רויטרס

Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi will be leaving the FC Barcelona, the team announced Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday night, FC Barcelona said that Messi and the team had agreed to renew Messi’s contract, but were unable to do so because “financial and structural obstacles”.

“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.”

Messi, who has played with FC Barcelona since 2004, notified the team in August 2020 of his intentions to leave. On July 1st 2021, Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona expired, making him a free agent.