Messi, arguably the greatest player in the sport’s history, formally informed the Spanish club on Tuesday afternoon that he wants to activate a clause in his previous contract whereby he can leave the club for free.
His decision has thrown Barcelona into chaos on and off the field after a disastrous trophyless season that saw two managers sacked and the club’s humiliated in the Champions League by Bayern Munich.
Upon the news breaking, former captain and teammate, Carles Puyol tweeted: “Respect and admiration, Leo. All my support, friend.”
Striker Luis Suarez, who was reportedly told by the club’s new head coach, Ronald Koeman, that his contract would be terminated, responded to Puyol’s tweet with two hand-clapping emojis.
Meanwhile, midfielder Arturo Vidal, who has also allegedly been told he has no future at the club, tweeted: ”When you corner a tiger he does not give up, he fights!”
Messi, 33, has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, scoring over 600 goal, winning ten league titles, four Champions Leagues, and six Ballon d’Ors.
His decision is likely to incite a legal battle between the two parties, with Barcelona insisting the aforementioned clause expired in June, leaving Messi with a €700m release clause.
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