Lionel Messi's Barcelona exit explained by Joan Laporta in revealing press conference

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Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona.

The footballing world collectively did a double-take when the Blaugrana revealed on Thursday night that the club’s greatest ever player would be leaving Camp Nou despite wanting to stay.

An official statement from Barcelona revealed that Messi and the club had agreed to a contract renewal that would see him remain in Catalonia despite the ‘burofax’ drama of the previous year.

Messi’s shock departure

However, given Barcelona‘s economic woes, the proposed deal for Messi could not be executed within the financial fair play rules that are stringently upheld by La Liga ahead of the new season.

It’s a remarkable situation that will be talked about for decades by way of unexpectedly altering the career path of arguably the greatest footballer of all time against his wishes.

As such, the very least that Barcelona could do was to help elucidate the situation by hosting a press conference on Friday morning with club president Joan Laporta stepping up to the plate.

BREAKING: Lionel Messi WILL LEAVE Barcelona (Football Terrace)

Laporta gives revealing press conference

It was both a revealing interview in which Laporta broke down the exact reasons why Messi won’t be re-signing with the club, arguing that the decision was executed in the best interest of Barcelona.

And per Fabrizio Romano’s Twitter updates during the press conference, here are some of the most important declarations and points that Laporta made in front of the world media:

“We had an agreement with Messi to sign a five-years contract but paying him two years salary. Leo agreed the contract, it was accepted. We were convinced it was a good agreement for Financial Fair Play but… it wasn’t allowed by La Liga”.

“Negotiations with Leo Messi have ENDED. We can’t register Messi because of La Liga rules, they’re not flexible with us on salary limit. We had an agreement with Leo but we can’t register him.”

““I’m sad but we did everything to keep Leo and he was prepared to stay at Barcelona, it was agreed. A new era starts now without Lionel Messi, we’ll be thankful to Leo”.

“Financial numbers and losses are worst than expected. Our salary mass is not leaving any margin. Financial Fair Play is also blocking us. I can’t make a decision that could destroy the club, Barça are the most important thing”.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

The end of an era

It really does make for a gut-wrenching situation if you’re a Barcelona fan: knowing full well that Messi wanted to stay at Camp Nou, but that facilitating such a scenario simply wasn’t possible.

And with Laporta pooh-poohing the idea that Messi could be re-signed later in the summer, it seems safe to assume that there is no going back from one of the biggest moves in football history.

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As such, we can safely assume that the curtain has been drawn on the greatest player-club collaboration that the sport has ever seen – and nobody wanted it to end like this.

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