Primera Division

Lionel Messi asks to leave Barcelona

The club captain of the Blaugrana is finally set to depart the Camp Nou after arriving at the age of just 13 from Argentina

7:24pm on Tuesday 25th August 2020
Martin Macdonald

It could soon be the end of an era at Barcelona after Lionel Messi reportedly asked the club to release him from his contract.

The Argentine joined the Blaugrana at just 13-years-old and has flourished to become arguably the greatest player of all time, collecting six Ballon d'Or trophies, 10 La Liga titles, and four Champions League titles.

However, over the past couple of years, despite winning the league last year, Barca have undoubtedly regressed, with them losing the league to a competent if unspectacular Real Madrid side in 2019/20.

Things apparently reached breaking point for Messi after the club were humiliated in the Champions League, as Bayern dumped them out at the quarter-final stage with a comprehensive 8-2 victory.

Shortly after that loss, Quique Setien was fired as head coach and Ronald Koeman was appointed.

The Dutchman stressed the importance of keeping Messi, but it appears that any pleas to the Argentine superstar have fallen on deaf ears.

According to reports in Spain, Messi has faxed Barcelona asking for the termination of his contract, looking to utilise a release clause that would allow him to leave for free.

That clause apparently ended at the end of May, but Messi is looking to point to the fact that the season was extended due to the worldwide pandemic as the reason for it to remain valid.

On Tuesday, FootballCritic reported that Manchester City were looking at ways to sign Messi that would not severely impact Financial Fair Play regulations.

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