Lionel Messi was a one-club man up to this point. He joined Barcelona as a boy and has grown into arguably the best footballer ever. The Argentine has represented only Barcelona in his amazing club career and has won almost everything on offer at the club level with Barcelona.
Messi also won his first international trophy with Argentina this summer as they beat Brazil in the Copa America 2021 final, which cemented his place as the greatest player in world football.
However, unfortunately, Messi has been forced to leave his childhood club. Barcelona and Messi couldn’t re-sign his contract extension due to La Liga’s financial rules and now he is almost set to join his former teammate Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.
There have been many mixed reactions to this transfer saga and some even pointed out that Messi, who is portrayed as a loyal and a one-club man, should have continued to play for Barcelona, even if for nothing. They questioned his loyalty to Barcelona.
Lionel Messi was ready to reduce his wage by 50% but even then it was impossible for Barcelona to register him. So it may come to your mind, why Messi didn’t lower his wages even further?
So, as Colin Millar points out, it would have been legally impossible for Lionel Messi to play for free at Barcelona. Any new contract is, by Spanish law, required to be a minimum of 50 percent of the previous wage. This rule is put in place to avoid financial manipulation.
Therefore, Lionel Messi did everything he could have done to stay at Barcelona, but the club’s financial position and La Liga’s financial rules were the main reason for Lionel Messi’s Barcelona departure.