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HomeSportsMessi officially becomes free agent; Barcelona contract expires

Messi officially becomes free agent; Barcelona contract expires

As a new signing, Barcelona would have to find a creative solution to fit Messi into the framework of La Liga's financial regulations

FC Barcelona and their fans’ worst nightmare has come true as Lionel Messi’s contract with the club ended on 30 June at midnight. The Argentine superstar, who had a two-decade-old association with the club and numerous trophies, is a free agent and can sign with any club at will.

Earlier it was rumoured that he had been close to reaching a deal to extend his contract for two more years.

Messi has won 35 titles in 17 seasons with FC Barcelona. He helped the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Spanish Super Cup eight times.

While with the club, Messi earned himself a record six Ballon d’Or awards. He is the team’s all- leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and the top scorer in the Spanish league with 474 goals in 520 matches. He is the player with most matches with the club.

He was the top scorer in the Spanish league in eight seasons and the top scorer in the Champions League on six occasions. His 26 goals against Real Madrid are a record for the “clásico” matches against FC Barcelona’s fiercest rival.

Messi arrived at Barcelona at age 13, when he and his family came to to try his luck at the club’s youth academy. He made his official debut on 16 2004, and two years later helped the club win its first Champions League in a squad led by Ronaldinho.

As a new signing, FC Barcelona will have to find a creative solution to fit Messi into the framework of La Liga’s financial regulations.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has already warned Barca that they must bring their wages down, or they won’t be able to register Messi ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Messi is currently with Argentina at Copa America, where the Albiceleste will face Ecuador in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

understands that Messi is calm and focused on his national team, rather than his contract situation.

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