While the situation has improved somewhat since (well, up until the teary press conference that saw him depart), the Argentine great had infamously asked to leave the club where he made his name little under a year earlier.
In the wake of the humiliating 8-2 Champions League loss to eventual winners Bayern Munich in Lisbon that exposed all manner of structural problems, Messi sent a burofax in which he detailed his desire to leave.
In his eyes, Messi felt that the clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for nothing at the end of the season (which expired on June 20th 2020) was valid on August 24h due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The message in full - addressed to former president Josep Bartomeu - was revealed by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.
"By means of the present, and in accordance with the provisions of clause 3.1. of the contract of 25 November 2017, I express to you my willingness to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with an effective date of 30 August 2020," it read.
"The aforementioned clause must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019-2020 football competition season has taken place, due to the State of Alarm and the force majeure situation brought about by the covid-19 pandemic.
"Due to this exception, the 2019-2020 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to that for our team, this completion would take place on 15 August, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of 14 August.'
"In any case, within 10 days after the end of the competition, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect date 30 August 2020, with the consequences provided in the aforementioned provision 3.1.
"Yours sincerely, Lionel Andrés Messi."
Of course, Messi ultimately stayed at Barcelona for another season after refusing to go down the legal route and would score another 38 times in 47 final games.
Now, the world waits to see what he can do with PSG.News Now - Sport News