Joan Laporta has been explaining why a new contract cannot be agreed with Lionel Messi, with an all-time great preparing to sever ties with the only club side that he has represented in his career. The Liga giants appeared to be closing in on an agreement for Messi but things have changed since.
In a shocking development, Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been forced to sever all ties after having agreed to personal terms for a five-year contract extension which would have kept Messi at Barcelona for the near future. Messi was at Camp Nou to sign a contract until July 2026. But after further contacts with La Liga during the day, Barcelona told Messi they’re blocked by La Liga financial rules & they’re not able/allowed to sign his contract now.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has expressed his deep regret and inability in failing to tie down the club legend. Highlighting the limitations caused due to economical and structural obstacles as imposed by the Spanish La Liga regulations, Laporta has shared the sentiments of football fans all over as he is forced to bid adieu to a club legend under such precarious circumstances.
"Leo wanted to stay at Barca. We wanted him to stay. I want to thank everyone that has been in the negotiations. There were lots of aspects that needed to be negotiated. He is the best player in the world and has other offers, of course. After all of this process, there comes a moment where you have to say 'enough. You have to analyse it and look at the numbers. In La Liga, we have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible, but that is not an excuse. We couldn't abide by it. Leo deserves everything. He has proven that he loves Barca. He has his roots in Barcelona. I'm sad but I'm convinced we have done the best for the interests of Barcelona. Leo's legacy is excellent, he has made history. He is the player with the most success in the history of the club. I hope we can overcome this situation. A new era starts now. There will be before and after Leo, as there was with other great players in the history of Barca," Laporta said, reported by Goal
"I don't want to generate false hope. During the course of negotiations, we know that the player has had other offers. There was a time limit. If fair play continues to be rigid, the player needs some time to see what he is going to do and look at other options. We have been at it for two months and have gone through different stages. The first agreement was two years. Then we agreed on a five-year contract. We were all thinking of two years and, if he wanted more, we could sit and negotiate. We wanted the era of post-Messi to start in two years, but we have had to bring that forward. Leo wanted to stay, so he is not happy. For him right now, it is a situation where he has to confront reality that can't be changed. He knows that I wish him the best wherever he goes. Barca is his home.I wanted to be here with Leo today, but we have to live in the real world. I like to dream, but this is the reality of what has happened. Right now, it is not easy."