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Official: Messi To Leave Barca

Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi has officially left the club.

Click through the gallery to see all the players that have left Barca in this window...

The Catalan giants have this evening announced that the 34-year-old will not sign a new contract.

A club statement confirmed that: "Despite having reached an agreement between Barça and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it will not be possible to formalise due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations)."

Messi joined the club as a young boy before going on to shine at youth level, with the 2004/05 season being the Argentine's first in the senior team, where he joined forces with the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho. 

Today, the 34-year-old is regarded as the greatest player to have ever played for Barcelona, having contributed to 977 goals in 788 matches and winning a remarkable 35 trophies. 

Furthermore, while on the books of the Blaugrana, Messi lifted a world-record six Ballons d'Or, an accolade he is tipped to win yet again later this year following his exploits for Argentina at the 2021 Copa America. 

Why did things change? 

It was reported earlier this week that he would extend his contract in Spain ahead of the 2021/22 season, though that all changed on Thursday afternoon when certain media outlets in Europe claimed there was a breakdown in talks. 

As Barcelona stated, striking a deal proved to be economically impossible, despite suggestions on Wednesday that a cash injection from an investment fund into LaLiga had made it easier for Barca to get the contract signed and confirmed. 

If reports are to be believed, president Joan Laporta has been reluctant to accept the league's proposal as it would spell the end of his European Super League dream, with the Spaniard backing Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez in his mission to get the league off the ground. 

Have you seen Messi's house in Barcelona? Click through the pictures below: 

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