What Stopped Barcelona From Retaining Lionel Messi?

What a moment it is in the world of football?! Lionel Andres Messi to Paris Saint-Germain is undoubtedly a historic moment in the football universe

“A lot of things have gone through my head. I’ve still not come to terms with the reality of leaving this club now and changing my life. We need to accept it and move forward. The time when I made my debut, that was my dream come true and everything that came later was amazing. I will always remember that moment where everything started,” said Lionel Andres Messi in his last ever press conference at Barcelona. 

For years, Lionel Messi has expressed on numerous occasions that he will never leave club Barcelona because the stature he has accomplished today is all because of Barcelona. From paying for his treatment to turning him into the greatest player of all time, Barcelona has given it all to Lionel Messi. Therefore, for Lionel Messi; club Barcelona was home. In fact, a few years ago, Lionel Messi said, “If I ever leave, it’s because they kick me out, not because I choose to.”

A few days ago, Lionel Messi had to leave Barcelona and join the French club, Paris Saint-Germain. No, Lionel Messi did not leave the club intentionally, and neither did club Barcelona kicked him out. So, what went awry and why Lionel Messi could not continue with Barcelona?

For a lengthy term, Barcelona has been struggling with its finances. Last year, the club reported a loss of around 578 million dollars along with a colossal debt of around 1.40 billion dollars. With so many popular names in the club, Barcelona was reportedly paying 110 per cent of their income to the players (salaries). However, the La Liga Financial Fair Play rules specify that Barcelona cannot grant over 70 per cent of its income towards wages. 

Therefore, Barcelona could not keep Messi because the club simply cannot afford him anymore. The legendary player accepted a 50 per cent pay cut, but the crippling finances of club Barcelona prevented them from signing Lionel Messi. With Messi gone, the number has plummeted from 110 per cent to 95 per cent only, which means; the club is still breaching the La Liga Fair Play guidelines. After all, apart from Messi, the club has other leading names such as Griezmann, Coutinho, terStegen, Depay, Aguero and more. 

Last but not least, at a press conference, a dejected Joan Laporta (Barcelona’s President) stated, “What we cannot do is keep prolonging the agony, making things longer. Two days ago, I reached the conclusion that we had to say enough and we could not do it.”

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