The hardest thing to say is goodbye, but that’s what Lionel Messi has done today. The Argentine gave a press conference at Camp Nou to bid farewell to Barcelona, the club he joined as a teenager and the only one he’s represented throughout his amazing career.
Every football fan on earth was intrigued to hear what the 34-year-old had to say; a huge crowd gathered outside the stadium to wait for him. Messi was clearly emotional, struggling through the press conference with tears in his eyes. His wife, Antonella, had to hand him a tissue before he began, with the Argentine struggling to get his words out at first. He received a touching standing ovation from all in attendance.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 8, 2021
Barcelona confirmed Messi’s departure on Thursday evening, causing an immense shock amidst the football world. His contract had expired at the end of June, but most believed that a renewal was inevitable. Despite his age, he’s not slowing down; Messi was player of the tournament at the Copa America as Argentina won their first title since 1993, scoring four goals and contributing five assists. Argentina beat Brazil in the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Un legado único pic.twitter.com/DEVj8PrL13
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 8, 2021
But La Liga’s strict financial controls and Barcelona’s inability to shift deadwood has meant that the Blaugrana couldn’t retain the services of what many consider to be the greatest footballer of all time. He’s expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days, where he’ll reunite with former Barcelona teammate Neymar, while Barcelona enter a new era.
For Messi leaves a large shadow. The Argentine won ten La Liga titles during his time at Camp Nou, as well as a remarkable four Champions League titles. He also enjoyed great success in cup competitions, evidenced by a picture he took after the press conference with all of his trophies. He’s won the Copa del Rey seven times, the Supercopa de Espana seven times, the European Super Cup three times and the Club World Cup three times. He’s scored 672 goals and provided 305 assists for Barcelona.