Lionel Messi: Barcelona announce he will not be staying at the club

Lionel Messi has left Barcelona

Lionel Messi has officially left Barcelona, the club have revealed.

The Argentine legend's contract with the club ran out earlier this summer.

It was expected that he would sign a new contract at the club this week.

However, reports emerged on Thursday that negotiations between Messi and Barcelona had stalled.

And now Barcelona have confirmed that he will not be staying at the club. The Catalan giants revealed the news in a statement on Thursday evening.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

They claimed that while the two parties had come to an agreement, financial constrains put in place by La Liga meant that a deal could not be completed.

Their statement read: "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 financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

"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.

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"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."

Messi had been at the club for 21 years having joined at the age of just 13.

He played  810 times for the club, scoring 683 goals. He also helped them to 34 trophies.

Messi leaves the club as the best player in the club's history and as arguably the greatest player of all time.

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