It should not be. The club and Messi were unable to meet the salary cap requirements despite not wanting to split.
“Although FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi have reached an agreement and both parties are signing a new contract today, this cannot happen due to Spanish La Liga player registration regulation,” a Barcelona statement said. It made headlines around the world.
An emotional Messi had to leave Barcelona. Paris Saint-Germain, the only club with the financial clout, have taken on Messi.
Nobody suspected that the year would take such a dramatic turn for Messi. A month earlier, in July, Messi realized his long-cherished dream. Under the pandemic cloud, Messi helped Argentina win their 15th Copa America title, ending an excruciating 28-year wait. Although he didn’t score in the final where Angel
Di Maria’s goal knocked Brazil off, Messi finished the tournament as top scorer (4) and provided the most assists with five assists.
“What beautiful madness!” Messi said in an Instagram post showing him shirtless holding the Copa America trophy in the Maracana dressing room. “This is amazing! Thank you God! We are the champions!”
Cynics had always found a suitable bullet to fire at the Argentine captain to hurt him while comparing him to Diego Maradona. In every debate, Messi has been accused of failing in the Albiceleste shirt. No longer. He lifted the trophy at the same place, the Maracana, where he ruefully passed the World Cup seven years ago.
The 34-year-old was named Player of the Game four times during the 2021 Copa America, a record for a single edition. Messi has been player of the game 14 times in Copa America history, which is also a record.
The Argentine, who has played more Copa America games than any other player, holds the record for the most assists in tournament history along with the most free kicks scored. After the Nemean lion was killed, Messi landed in Paris on August 11th to welcome a hero. His hand-waving photo in a white T-shirt with “This is Paris” printed on it was splashed around the world.
By the time Messi reached Paris, he was slowly warming up. Teamed up with a friend from his time in Barcelona, Neymar, and irrepressible Kylian Mbappe, Messi found his mojo soon enough. His stunning goal against Manchester City in the Champions League was named the best goal of the group stage.
In November, the month of awards and accolades, Messi crowned an upside-down year with his seventh Ballon d’Or, leaving the well-deserved Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho behind. The Brazilian-born Italian helped Chelsea win the Champions League and also shaped Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph.
“It’s amazing to be here again,” said Messi. “Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was the key. I don’t know how many years I have left (to play). But I hope many more,” he said at the theater du Chatelet in Paris.
Cristiano Ronaldo skipped the event with five Ballon d’Or but didn’t shy away from fueling a controversy in which France Football’s editor-in-chief Pascal. Called
Ferre, a liar. After moving to his old club Manchester United, Ronaldo has a hard time. At 36, he’s unlikely to catch up with Messi on the Ballon d’Or’s bragging rights. Portugal’s World Cup qualification is also in serious danger. The historic rivalry that has retained its appeal for more than a decade,
seems to have taken its course.
The start into the second year of the pandemic-crazy world was by no means smooth for Messi. Barcelona lost the title to Atletico and were eliminated in. out
the Champions League pre-quarter-finals. Not everything went well at his favorite club.
But winning the Copa America at the Maracana calmed the ailing Argentine’s soul. The Blaugrana kit is a distant memory now. A Champions League trophy in the PSG jersey is the new task for the boy from Rosario.
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