The Argentine star leaves the Spanish city after the Blaugrana could not renew his contract with the club
Former Chelsea and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has reacted to news of Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona.
The 34-year-old will end his 21-year stay in Catalonia after the club did not get a new contract due to financial and structural obstacles.
“Despite the fact that FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi have reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this can not happen due to the Spanish La Liga regulations on player registration, “ announced the club on Thursday.
“Because of this situation, Messi will not stay at FC Barcelona. Both parties are very sorry that the wish of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.”
The news came as a surprise to Essien who faced Messi during his career and he wishes management had made the decision.
‘I’m not a fan of Barcelona, but I still can not believe Leo will leave Barca, Leo is Barca and Barca is Leo. “I hope there will be a U-turn somehow,” the 38-year-old said. tweeted.
Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, has so far spent his entire professional career in Barcelona, scoring a total of 672 goals in 778 matches in all competitions.
He has won 10 La Liga titles, four Uefa Champions League trophies and three Fifa World Cups with the Blaugrana, among others.
He initially joined Barcelona Academy in 2000, before rising through the club’s youth ranks, and finally made his first team debut in a friendly against Porto at the age of 16 in November 2003.
Ronald Koeman, coach of Barcelona and former team-mate Cesc Fabregas has already paid tribute to Messi, marking the end of his era at the club.
Meanwhile, it Argentina is expected to hold a press conference on Camp Nou on Sunday where he is likely to answer questions about his future.
Back in June, Essien – who joined the coaching staff of the Danish Superliga club FC Nordsjaelland last September – extended his contract until the summer of 2023.