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Lionel Messi to leave Barcelona club

Lionel Messi is all set to leave Barcelona due to ‘financial and structural obstacles’, despite both parties having reached an agreement over a new contract. After failing to come to an agreement on a contract renewal before his previous Barcelona deal ended on June 30, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a free agent since July 1.

The 34-year-old, on the other hand, was expected to sign a new five-year contract with the Catalan club, with his salary halved.

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Messi has played for Barcelona his entire career, climbed the ranks of the club’s academy before making his senior debut in 2003 and scoring 672 goals in 778 appearances.

A Barcelona club statement said: ‘Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations). As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled. FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.’

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