It came as a surprise to many when it was announced that Barcelona would not be able to re-sign Lionel Messi due to financial complications within the club. It was speculated for quite a while that Messi would sign a new contract deal with the club following the 2021 Copa America tournament, but this did not come to fruition in the end.
Messi was, for one, shell-shocked when it was revealed to him that he would not be able to return to Barca for the 2021-2022 season. As he revealed to France Football (via Le10Sport), the decision was one that he did not see coming.
“I came back to Barcelona to prepare for the season, having taken advantage of the few extra days of vacation that the coach had given me,” Messi said. “I had in mind to sign my contract and to start training right away. I thought that everything was settled and that all that was missing was my signature (on the contract).
“But when I arrived in Barcelona, I was told that it was no longer possible, that I could not stay and that I had to find another club, because Barça could not afford to extend my contract. That changed my plans.
It was only mere days later that Messi opted to sign a free transfer deal with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentine forward has not kicked off the season with the Ligue 1 giants on a dominant note, which has included zero goals scored in league play. Still, Messi will have a grand opportunity to bounce back in Ligue 1 following the October international break with the key fixtures against the likes of Olympique de Marseille and Lille OSC.