As all good things come to an end, Lionel Messi on Tuesday told Barcelona that he wants to leave after nearly two decades at the club, having grown unhappy with a trophyless season which also ended with a humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
While this could really be the end of Messi's era at Barcelona, here's a look at what could be last ever goal for the Catalan club.
Messi vs Napoli - Champions League Round-of-16 2019-20
Napoli visited Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 fixture.
While it was a dominating performance from the entire squad, it was Lionel Messi who stole the spotlight with his solo goal.
Soon after Clement Lenglet gave Barcelona an early lead, Messi doubled the score as he put the ball past David Ospina after a brilliant dribble through a series of defenders.
Messi beat three defenders, fell down and got back up on his feet to find the ball and curved the ball past the keeper while falling down.
Watch the goal below:
Barcelona hinted that a legal battle could be coming and said it won’t automatically grant the Argentina great his wishes. Barcelona said it told Messi in response that it wants him to stay and finish his career at the club.
The dispute centers around a clause in Messi’s contract.
Barcelona said the document sent by Messi referenced a clause allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season. However, the club said the deadline for triggering that clause expired in June and that it would seek legal advice. Messi’s contract also includes a 700 million euro ($826 million) buyout clause.
The Spanish season would normally have ended in May but was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Spanish media said an emergency board meeting was expected to take place on Wednesday, when the club had already scheduled the official presentation of forward Francisco Trincão.