What Lionel Messi said to Josep Maria Bartomeu before leaving Barcelona for PSG

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Lionel Messi directly told former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu that he planned to leave the club 12 months before his departure this summer. A recently-revealed burofax shows Messi’s intention to terminate his contract in August 2020.

Last month, Barcelona shocked the world by announcing they couldn’t offer Messi a new contract amid financial struggles.

The 34-year-old wasn’t a free agent for long, joining PSG on a two-year deal with the option of a further year.

Messi could’ve left Camp Nou one year earlier when he was heavily linked with a Pep Guardiola reunion at Manchester City.

But he ultimately remained at the club for the 2020/21 season before his shock exit earlier this summer.

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Mundo Deportivo recently shared a burofax from August 2020, clearly showing Messi’s attempt to leave.

Messi himself had signed the document and made it clear that he planned to depart on the 30th of that month.

He looked to do so by invoking a clause in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent before it was due to expire in June 2021.

However, Bartomeu refused to allow Messi to leave before being replaced as president by Joan Laporta months later, change the Argentine star wanted.


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Messi’s burofax in full read: “Dear Mr. Bartomeu.

“Hereby, and in accordance with the provisions of clause 3.1 of the contract dated November 25, 2017, I hereby express my wish to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with effect from August 30, 2020.

“I understand that the time frame of the right of unilateral termination without cause regulated by the aforementioned clause must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019/20 football competition season has taken place, due to the state of emergency and the situation of force majeure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Due to these exceptional circumstances, the 2019/20 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to the fact that for our team, this end took place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.

“In any case, within 10 days following the end of the season of competition, and thus meeting the agreed deadline for exercising the aforementioned clause 3.1., in accordance with the material contract of our agreement, which must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances of the 2019/20 season, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect from August 30, 2020, with the consequences provided for in the aforementioned stipulation 3.1.

“Yours sincerely, Lionel Andres Messi.”

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