SPORTS | Messi Tells Barca He Wants To Leave, Signaling End Of Era

BARCELONA | SPAIN – After dozens of titles, hundreds of goals and countless records, Lionel Messi’s spectacular career at Barcelona could be coming to an abrupt end.

The divorce may turn ugly, too.

Messi told Barcelona on Tuesday that he wants to leave after two decades at the club, having grown unhappy after a trophy-less season ended with a humiliating loss to Bayer Munich in the Champions League.

Barcelona confirmed to The Associated Press that Messi sent the club a document expressing his desire to leave. But the club hinted that a legal battle could be coming and said it won’t automatically grant the Argentina great his wishes.

The dispute centers around a clause in Messi’s contract.

Barcelona said the document sent by Messi referenced a clause allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season. However, the club said the deadline for triggering that clause expired in June and that it would seek legal advice. Messi’s contract also includes a 700 million euro buyout clause.

The Spanish season would normally have ended in May but was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If Messi can leave for free, he will have no shortage of suitors. However, only a handful of clubs could realistically afford to pay his wages even without a transfer fee – with mega rich Paris Saint – Germain and Manchester City widely seen as perhaps the most likely destinations.

The 33 – year –old Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona as the top player in the world, and has helped the club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions League crowns.

Messi’s announcement came 11 days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern in the Champions League quarterfinals, one of the worst defeat in the player’s career and in the club’s history.

The defeat capped a difficult season for Barcelona – the first without a title since 2007 – 08 – and ignited one of its worst crises ever.

Messi had been outspoken about his dissatisfaction with some of Barcelona’s decisions this seasons, talking about the team’s problems and contesting club directors. Sporting director Eric Abidal, who was criticized by Messi, left the club last week.

Messi has been silent since the loss to Bayern, though, raising doubts about his future. The defeat may have been tipping for the playmaker. He and his teammates faced furious Barcelona fans who confronted them and criticized the team at the club’s training center after the squad returned from Portugal.

Club president Josep Baromeu has said he was confident that Messi would finish his career with Barcelona, and that he was a crucial part of incoming coach Ronald Koeman’s plans for teams.

Koeman met with Messi last week and the player reportedly told the Dutchman that he saw himself more out than in at the club at that moment.

The coach reportedly had already told other key pieces of the squad that they were not in his plans, including Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic.

After the loss to Bayern, Barcelona announced it would make ‘profound’ changes to the first team and a ‘wide-ranging’ restructuring of the club. The changes began with the firing of coach Quique Setien a few days after the Champions League defeat in Lisbon, and new presidential election were called for March.

Spanish media said an emergency board meeting was expected to take place on Wednesday, when the club had already scheduled the official presentation of forwards Francisco Trincao.

Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia announced that it was opening the consular section in its embassy in Afghani capital of Kabul as of Tuesday to provide consular service to Afghani citizens, state news agency (SPA) report. In August, Saudi evacuated all of its diplomats from the embassy in Kabul after the Taliban movement overtook the … More Saudi Opens Consular Section Of Kabul Embassy As Of Tuesday – State News Agency

Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior halted flights from and to Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comoros Islands on Sunday owing to concerns related to the spread of the new COVID-19 strain, state news agency SPA reported on Twitter. Saudi Arabia on Friday suspended flights to and from South Africa, Namibia, … More Saudi Arabia Halts Flights From More African Nations – State News Agency

Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

PARIS, France – Turkey closed its borders to passengers from five countries as a measure against the new coronavirus variant, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Friday. Travellers from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will not be allowed to enter as of Friday night due to rising cases of the new variant, Koca … More Turkey Closes Borders To Five Countries Due To New COVID-19 Variant

Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

PARIS, France – The Saudi – led coalition fighting in Yemen said early on Saturday it launched air strikes on military targets in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, asking civilians not to gather around or approach the targeted sites, Saudi state TV reported. The coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Iran – … More Saudi – Led Coalition Carries Out Strikes In Yemeni Capital Sanaa – State TV

Oman Bans Travellers From 7 Southern African States Over COVID Variant

PARIS, France – – Oman has suspended entry to travellers from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini starting from Nov.28 due to the spread of a new variant of COVID – 19 discovered in South Africa, the country’s state news agency said in a tweet on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights To And From Seven Southern African States Over COVID

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia has suspended flights to and from seven southern African nations due to concentration related to the spread of the new variant of COVID-19. According to a statement carried by the state news agency (SPA), the seven countries are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini. A senior official in … More Saudi Arabia Suspends Flights To And From Seven Southern African States Over COVID

Saudi Arabia To Lift Entry Ban From Six Countries, Including Egypt, Pakistan And India

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced that it will lift an entry ban on expats from six countries that was introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior issued directives to allow direct entry for full vaccinated expatriated from Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt and India without the need to spend … More Saudi Arabia To Lift Entry Ban From Six Countries, Including Egypt, Pakistan And India

Saudi Arabia Working On 160 Privatisation, Says Finance Minister

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia is working on 160 privatisations and intends to announce more next year, Finance Minister Mohammed al – Jadaan said on Thursday. Speaking at a financial forum in Riyadh, he said plans to privatise assets in the education and logistics sectors were ongoing. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia suspended the privatisation of … More Saudi Arabia Working On 160 Privatisation, Says Finance Minister

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Meets Swiss Counterpart In Riyadh

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has received his Swiss Vice President Federal Council and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis developments. ‘During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, as well as regional and international developments and coordinating the joint efforts exerted towards them’, … More Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Meets Swiss Counterpart In Riyadh

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s