Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona waves to the crowd prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
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Lionel Messi will leave FC Barcelona after discussions to renew his contact failed due to “financial and structural obstacles,” the soccer club confirmed Thursday.
FC Barcelona said in a statement that it “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 signed with the club at age 13 through their youth program, La Masia. His first season with the top team was in 2004.
He won the Ballon d’Or in 2019 and is the only player to win the award six times.
Last month, Messi reportedly reached a verbal agreement to a five-year contract extension at Barcelona, with new terms that include a salary reduction by 50%.
Messi officially became a free agent on July 1 after he failed to agree on terms over a contract renewal before his previous contract ended on June 30.
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