The hardest thing to say is goodbye, but that’s what Lionel Messi has to do today. The Argentine will give a press conference at Camp Nou this morning to bid farewell to Barcelona, the club he joined as a teenager and the only one he’s represented throughout his glittering career. A man famously of few words, it’s going to be intriguing to hear what the 34-year-old has to say.
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.
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.