Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona: A record breaking career in pictures

Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona truly marks the end of an era in football. The Argentine who signed his first contract with Barcelona in 2000 on a napkin when he was 13 ended his ties with the club after two decades. 

Messi was free to negotiate a transfer with other clubs after his deal ran out at the end of June, but Barcelona had always maintained he wanted to stay with the club. The 34-year-old was reported to sign a new five-year deal, but due to "financial and structural obstacles" he was let go by the club: 

Journey started with Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys

Messi was signed by Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys when he was eight years old and he went onto join their youth system. In 2000, Messi, 13, joined Barcelona from Newell’s Old Boys.


Barcelona came calling

After impressing in the La Masia, Messi made his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in 2004 and went  on to win 34 trophies at Nou Camp. His current contract runs till June 2021. However, Barcelona captain has told the club that he wants to activate a release clause which allows him to leave this summer for free but the club states the clause expired on May 31, 2020. 


Unstoppable Lionel Messi

Messi has been awarded the coveted Ballon d’Or and the European golden shoe for being the top scorer in the continent for a record six times.


Lionel Messi’s massive contract

Messi's wage package at Barcelona according to Football Leaks: 60.395.769 euro basic yearly wages (£988.000 a week), £9.100.000 per year on image rights, £13.000.000 a year on possible bonuses plus signing on & loyalty fee (£120.000.000 over 5 years).


Megastar Lionel Messi

Messi was fifth on Forbes’ Celebrity 100, 2020 and is the third highest-paid athlete in the world. Forbes ranked messi first among athletes on their list of the 100 highest-earning celebrities of 2019, putting his income for the year at $127m (£98m), and fourth overall, making him the best-earning footballer and athlete in the world. He was $18m ahead of ronaldo and $22m ahead of neymar, the next athletes on the list.


An end of an era?

FC Barcelona fans were left reeling on Friday after the club announced that star striker Lionel Messi would be leaving the Camp Nou, where he has spent his entire professional career.

Messi, now 34, had been expected to sign a new five-year deal, but negotiations fell apart at the last hurdle on Thursday night, with the club blaming financial restrictions imposed by La Liga.

"To suddenly end like this when you thought he was already contracted again... It`s really sad, really really sad," said 36-year-old student and Barca fan Jose Rivero, standing on the street in the Catalan capital.


Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi Tuesday officially joined Paris Saint-Germain after leaving Barcelona. The football star has signed a two-year contract with the French club with an option of an additional year, PSG announced. 



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