Argentine superstar Lionel Messi will not sign a new deal with Barcelona, ending his two-decade stay at the Nou Camp, the Spanish giants have said.
“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),” Barcelona said in a statement on Thursday.
“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.”
The announcement brings to an end a 20-year trophy-laden career which saw the 34-year-old winning six Ballon d’Ors.
Messi played 778 games for Barcelona and scored 672 goals.
“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 club added.