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Lionel Messi becomes a free agent as Barcelona contract expires: Reports

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One of the world’s most talismanic footballers, Lionel Messi is now a free agent. The 34-year-old, who about 12 months earlier made an attempt to leave Barcelona, is no longer under contract with the Spanish giants.

One of the world’s most talismanic footballers, Lionel Messi is now a free agent. The 34-year-old, who about 12 months earlier, made an attempt to leave the Catalan club, is no longer under contract, reports in Goal.com and BBC suggest. Messi’s contract officially expired as soon as the clock struck 12, and although there were reports that he would likely re-sign with the Spanish giants, no such development has yet taken place.

Messi reportedly had been close to reaching a deal to extend his contract for two more years. There is a belief that Messi and Barcelona will work towards a contract, but until there is conclusive evidence that it is indeed in the pipeline, Messi being a free agent is bound to attract the attention of clubs across the world.

It was first during the end of the 2019-20 season that Messi first announced his intention of wanting to leave Barca. The reason could have been many but following the club’s 2-8 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final was believed to be a catalyst. It was one of the club and Messi’s worst defeats. Besides, Messi was kind of at loggerheads with president Josep Bartomeu, and once he stepped down and a new coach is Ronald Koeman was announced, things became smoother.

Messi was in hot form this season, as he emerged as the leading scorer in the Spanish league with 30 goals and helped Barcelona win the Copa del Rey title. Messi has contributed immensely towards increasing the legend of Barcelona. He has won 35 titles in 17 seasons, helping the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Spanish Super Cup eight times.

Messi earned himself a record six Ballon d’Or awards. He is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and the top scorer in the Spanish league with 474 goals in 520 matches. He also is the player with most matches with the club. He was the top scorer in the Spanish league in eight seasons and the top scorer in the Champions League on six occasions. His 26 goals against Real Madrid are a record for the ‘clasico’ matches against Barcelona’s fiercest rival.

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