After nearly two decades at the club, Messi on Tuesday told Barcelona that he wants to leave, having grown unhappy with a trophyless season which also ended with a humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
With dozens of titles, hundreds of goals and countless records, Lionel Messi’s spectacular career at Barcelona could be coming to an abrupt end.
The divorce may turn ugly, too.
The club confirmed that Messi's decision to leave was received via a burofax.
However, the current set of events has also invited hilarious memes and jokes on social media.
A Twitter user hilariously joked that Messi is all set to join BJP in presence of president JP Nadda.
"Messi set to leave Barcelona. Likely to join BJP tomorrow in presence of JP Nadda at the BJP headquarters - Sources," he tweeted.
Here are some more reactions:
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.
Messi arrived at Barcelona as a teenager in 2001, joining the club’s famed La Masia youth academy. He first-team debut happened in 2003 as a 16-year-old, and since then he led Barcelona to 34 titles. He holds most individual records at the club, scoring 634 goals and making 276 assists in 731 appearances with the club.