Six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Leo Messi has officially departed his boyhood club FC Barcelona after being a free agent since July 1 after he failed to agree terms over a renewal before his previous Barcelona contract expired on June 30.

Lionel Messi almost left Barcelona last summer after handing in a transfer request; the 34-year-old had been expected to sign a new five-year contract; his wages were to be reduced by 50 per cent under terms of new deal.

The clubs official website wrote;

“Despite club and player reaching an agreement and their clear intention to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles

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 Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration.

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 aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has officially been a free agent since July 1 after he failed to agree terms over a renewal before his previous Barcelona contract expired on June 30.