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Lionel Messi ended his 18-year relationship with the Catalan giants, Barcelona, this week. The news comes as the 34-year-old led Argentina as captain to their first trophy in 28 years in June at the Copa America tournament against Brazil.

Their last trophy came in 1993, also that of the Copa America cup.

Messi announced to the footballing world that he will not be renewing his contract with Blaugrana for the upcoming season.

The pressure for this decision came from the amended financial fair play rules that La Liga has implemented in the off-season.

The Argentine had been expected to sign a renewal even as he was reported to have accepted a reduced salary. According to reports dated July 2021, his earnings for the past season of 2020/21 was 515 000 euros, approximately N$ 8.87 million, a week.

Barcelona is in the process of restructuring their financial position in order to fall within these new financial rules within the domestic scene.

Head of the La Liga, Javier Tebas said that Barcelona would not be shown leniency when it comes to obeying these new rules.

Barcelona has been in the news since last year for their astronomical debt of over 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion).

The news of Messi’s departure also came a day after La Liga agreed in principle to sell 10% of a newly formed company that houses most of the league’s business to a private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners for 2.7 billion euros.

Julia Heita

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