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Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Shock Messi Clause Expires

In September last year, it was revealed that Lionel Messi had a surprising clause in his contract that would allow him to leave FC Barcelona for free this year, but it has now expired.

Read: Reports: Messi Makes Huge Barca Decision

El Pais broke the news about the special agreement in Messi's latest deal, with the player and club since confirming its existence.

It reportedly stated that the Argentine superstar would be allowed to leave the Blaugrana for free as long as he informed the club before the end of May of his desire to depart.

ESPN have now claimed that it actually expired on 30 May, the day the UEFA Champions League final was set to be played before the coronavirus crisis halted football.

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It means that Messi will stay at the Camp Nou for at least another 12 months, but his future is far from secured as his current contract expires at the end of June 2021.

The 32-year-old has always insisted he would like to end his career "at home" in Barcelona, although he has also suggested he would be open to playing for his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before hanging up his boots.

Barca, meanwhile, remain hopeful they can tie their club captain down to a new contract, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu said to be keen to offer him a life-time deal.

Read: 14 Highest-Paid Footballers On Forbes Rich List

Messi moved to Barcelona at the tender age of 13 years old, and signed his first professional contract in 2005. He has since extended his contract with the club eight times, and is currently the highest-paid footballer in the world (based on basic salary excluding endorsements).

Overall, he has made 718 appearances for the Blaugrana, scoring 627 goals and assisting another 261 strikes along the way.

Do you think Messi will retire at Barcelona, or look for a new challenge before he hangs up his boots? Have your say in the comments section below.

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