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Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club

AP/Barcelona
Filed on August 25, 2020
Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants. - Reuters

Club confirm that Messi sent a document expressing his desire to leave.

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he wants to leave the club after nearly two decades with the Spanish giants.

The club confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Argentina great sent a document expressing his desire to leave.

The announcement comes 11 days after Barcelona's humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, one of the worst defeats in the player's career and in the club's history.

The defeat capped a difficult season for Barcelona - the first without a title since 2007-08 - and ignited one of their worst crises ever.

Messi has won a record six Ballon d'Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions League crowns.

Also among them are some key players from recent years, including Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti.

Neither the club nor the coach have said publicly who is staying and who is leaving, but those four players reportedly have already been told that they are not in Koeman's plans.

Their departures would certainly be part of the "profound" changes to the first team that the club announced after their season ended with a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

President Josep Bartomeu and Koeman both admitted, though, that there was a need to revamp an aging squad that left the club without a title for the first time since 2007-08.

The club's restructuring began with the firing of coach Quique Setien a few days after the loss to Bayern, and new presidential elections were called for March.

Catalan radio station RAC1 said Suarez was one of the first to get a call from Koeman saying he wasn't going to be used anymore. The 33-year-old Uruguay striker joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 and helped the Spanish club win a series of titles, including four Spanish leagues, four Copa del Reys and one Champions League. He scored nearly 200 goals in more than 280 appearances with the club.

Among the players touted as possible replacements for Suarez were Lyon's Memphis Depay and Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez. Already on the team and ready to contribute in attack are Martin Braithwaite and youngster Francisco Trincao.

 

 

Lionel Messi

Age: 33

Matches: 731

Goals: 634

Assists: 285

 

La Liga:

Matches: 485

Goals: 444

Assists: 201

 

Uefa Champions League:

Matches: 143

Goals: 115

Assists: 39

 

Uefa Super Cup:

Matches: 4

Goals: 3

Assists: 3

 

Copa del Rey:

Matches: 75

Goals: 53

Assists: 36

 

Supercopa

Matches: 19

Goals: 14

Assists: 5

 

Fifa Club World Cup:

Matches: 5

Goals: 5

Assists: 5


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