Lionel Messi's incredible 17-season career at Barcelona appears to have come to an end. This marks one of the most heartbreaking moments for football fans. During the press conference on Monday Messi was seen struggling to control his emotions. Messi began crying even before he started speaking at his farewell ceremony at the Camp Nou Stadium. "This is very hard for me after so many years, after being here my entire life," he said. "I wasn't prepared."
Barcelona fans and football fans around the world took to social media platforms to express their sadness. Many even called it the end of an era.
Barcelona announced it could not keep its greatest player because it wasn’t able to fit a new contract within the Spanish league’s financial fair-play regulations. The club’s salary cap has been significantly slashed because of its huge debt. Messi asked to leave at the end of the 2019-20 season but had his request denied by Bartomeu.
The Argentina star had agreed to stay and had reached an agreement with Barcelona on a new contract, but the club wasn’t able to make it work because of its dire financial situation.