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Why did Lionel Messi leave Barcelona for PSG?

LIONEL Messi is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of his generation.

After playing in Barcelona’s first team since 2004, he left in 2021 to join Paris Saint-Germain. Here’s what we know about the transfer.

Lionel Messi played for Barcelona’s first team from 2004 to 2021, after joining the youth team in 1999

Why did Messi leave Barcelona?

In the summer of 2021, Barcelona faced a difficult situation.

The Spanish club needed to make cuts of more than $200million just to be able to re-sign Messi.

Clubs across Europe had seen revenue reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the La Liga team was unable to hold on to their star player.

Despite Messi offering to take a pay cut, Barcelona could not agree new terms with the player due to La Liga’s salary cap rules,

Messi’s contract expired in June 2021, with the debt-ridden club unable to finalise a new one.

With the expiration of his contract, Barcelona’s all-time top goal scorer was left without a club and the five-times European champions without their star player.

La Liga rules introduced in 2013 means that clubs have a floating salary cap.

This is decided for the individual teams by calculating the club’s revenues and total expenditure from debt repayments to operational costs.

The World Cup 2022 winner signed with PSG in August 2021.

Will Messi go back to Barcelona?

It remains to be seen if Messi will ever return to the club in which he made his name, partially because he still has time left on his current PSG contract.

Messi initially signed a two-year contract with the French side, meaning it will expire in July 2023.

Staying in the French capital is reportedly his preference for now at least.

The club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, previously suggested holding talks with Messi over a contract extension after he returned from the World Cup.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made no secret that he wants their former captain to return to Camp Nou, saying the club will always be his home.

David Beckham‘s MLS outfit Inter Miami are also said to be interested in the player, with the team claiming to be confident of agreeing a deal.

What is Lionel Messi’s net worth?

Messi’s net worth is believed to be around £600million.

This is boosted by lots of worldwide marketing deals, including with brands such as Adidas and Pepsi.

Since leaving Barcelona in 2021, it is believed that Messi earns around £700,000 a week with PSG.

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