Thursday morning didn't bring the best of news for Barcelona and Lionel Messi fans. Afterall, an association that last over two decades officially ended at midnight when Messi's contract with the Catalan giants came to an end; effectively making him a free agent and at free will to sign with a new club.
While Barca fans are still optimistic that Messi might still sign a new contract with the club while keeping in line with club's requirement of financial fair play in a year when the Catalunya club suffered heavy losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking back, Messi won 35 titles in 17 seasons with Barcelona. He helped the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey 7 times and the Spanish Super Cup 8 times.
While with the club, 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.
Let's do take a look at his top 10 goals for the club as rated by fans at club's official website.
His relationship with the club hierarchy in the last two seasons was turbulent, especially with former club president Josep Bartomeu; with Messi adamant on quitting Barca. However, with Joan Laporta coming in as the new president, fans were hopeful Messi will stay as the re-elected chief shared a strong bond with Messi in the past.
(With inputs from AP.)