Lionel Messi shocked the football world when he left Barcelona earlier this summer, joining Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal worth a reported £25m-per-year
Lionel Messi attempted to engineer his Barcelona exit a full year before his move to Paris Saint-Germain, a leaked fax reveals.
It was well known that the Argentinian legend hoped to leave the Camp Nou in 2020, but for the first time, his request has been made public.
Messi called time on his two-decade stay with the Blaugrana earlier this summer, with the LaLiga giants unable to offer him a new deal.
Barcelona had reportedly offered the forward a new two-year contract, but due to financial restrictions placed upon them, they were unable to ratify it.
That led to an emotional press conference where Messi spoke of his love for the club, regularly calling it his “home”.
But Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have obtained a copy of the burofax Messi’s representatives sent to Barcelona in August 2020, expressing his desire to terminate his contract with the club.
The fax reads: “By means of the present, and in accordance with the provisions of clause 3.1. of the contract of November 25, 2017, I express to you my willingness to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with an effective date of August 30, 2020.
It added that the contract he signed in 2017 came with a clause that would enable him to leave before June 10, 2020 without any “prior communication to the club”.
Messi missed that date due to the coronavirus pandemic extending the 2019/20 season into August.
The fax is dated August 30, the date of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and PSG, of which he hoped to be involved in.
“The aforementioned clause must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019-2020 football competition season has taken place, due to the State of Alarm and the force majeure situation derived from the Covid-19 pandemic,” the letter continues.
“Due to this exception, the 2019-2020 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to that for our team, this completion would take place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.”
Messi hoped to seal his exit shortly after sending the letter, with his message concluding: “In any case, within 10 days after the end of the competition,
!I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect date August 30 2020, with the consequences provided in the aforementioned provision 3.1.
“Yours sincerely, Lionel Andrés Messi.”
Barcelona managed to negotiate a year extension despite Messi’s express desire to leave, although he would eventually seal his exit at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.