Lionel Messi has received more Google searches this week than the coronavirus, according to Google Trends.
On Tuesday, the Argentine sent a fax to Barcelona requesting the termination of his contract after a 20-year association with the club after joining as a 13-year-old.
He has become unhappy at the Camp Nou after Barca won no silverware in a season for the first time in 12 years, while has been increasingly critical of how the club is run at boardroom level.
Earlier in the season, he publicly criticised director of football Eric Abidal for his comments on player performance.
Things reached breaking point after Barcelona were humiliated in the Champions League after a 8-2 demolition from Bayern.
Quique Setien was sacked, to be replaced by Ronald Koeman, who subsequently told Messi's friend, Luis Suarez, that he had no future at the club.
That appeared to be the final straw for Messi who faxed the club asking to leave.
After the news broke, searches for Messi went through the roof.
On a scale of 0 to 100, the scale that Google uses to quantify the popularity of searches, Messi went from an 8 to an 86 in just two hours.
The search reached its peak at around 8pm when it overtook searches for the coronavirus pandemic.
Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea and Mali saw the highest spike in searches for Messi.