Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades (20yrs) with the Spanish giants.
The club confirmed on Tuesday that the Argentine sent a document expressing his desire to to activate a release clause that would end his contract and allow him to leave for free this summer.
Barcelona have received this in writing via a fax from his lawyers. They have not officially replied yet but are understood to be preparing one.
Barcelona do not agree the clause is still active. It is said to have expired on June 10, which is 10 days after the original date of the Champions League final on May 30.
But Messi’s lawyers are arguing that – in the spirit of the deal and good faith – the clause is still active after the rescheduled final on August 23, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement comes 11 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, one of the worst defeats in the player’s career and in the club’s history.
The defeat capped a difficult season for Barcelona – the first without a trophy since 2007-08 – and ignited one of their worst crises ever.
Lionel Messi has won a record of Six (6) Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the Top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions Leagues.
Former Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol reacted to the news that Messi wants to leave, tweeting: “Respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend.”