Here’s Why Soccer Fans Are Buzzing Over Lionel Messi’s Future With Barcelona

As if 2020 wasn’t already full of shocking twists and turns, the world of soccer just gave fans an unexpected kick.

Lionel Messi, who captains both the Futbol Club Barcelona and the Argentina national football team, reportedly wants to say goodbye to one of his clubs.

After playing with the Barcelona team for nearly two decades, the 33-year-old athlete has reportedly decided to leave. According to NBC News, Messi already sent the Spanish giants a document detailing his request.

At this time, Messi has yet to publicly address the news. However, as the outlet pointed out, the soccer star’s choice to move on isn’t too surprising.

The announcement comes almost two weeks after Barcelona faced-off against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals. The Spanish club lost 8-2. As NBC News put it, it marked “one of the worst defeats in the player’s career and in the club’s history.”

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Lionel Messi cuts off contract renewal talks with Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has called off negotiations over renewing his contract with the club and is ready to leave the Catalans when his current deal expires in 2021, according to a report by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Friday.

The report said Messi and his father Jorge had begun discussing renewing his last deal with the club, which was signed in 2017, but that he no longer wishes to stay at the Camp Nou.

The report added that Messi is angry about leaked media reports that appeared to make him seem responsible for events at the club, such as the January sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde, and that he is frustrated about the squad’s lack of quality.

The Argentine’s representatives and Barcelona did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Messi, who turned 33 last month, scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid, but the milestone strike ended in disappointment as Barca drew the game 2-2 in the latest blow to their bid to retain the Spanish title.

Barca trail Real Madrid by four points in the title race with five games remaining after Real beat Getafe 1-0 on Thursday.

Previously known for his shy personality off the pitch, Messi has become more vocal in his criticism of the club in the last year.

In January he hit out at sporting director Eric Abidal, who he said had implied players had led to Valverde being sacked.

In a February interview with newspaper Mundo Deportivo, he declared the team was not good enough to win this season’s Champions League.

Then in April, he criticized the board for implying players were not willing to accept a pay-cut to help the team’s financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

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