Barcelona, Aug 6: Ace footballer Lionel Messi will not stay at FC Barcelona due to La Liga regulations, the Spanish league club has confirmed in a statement. The announcement ends the Argentine star's 21-year old relationship with the club that saw him score 672 goals in 778 appearances and win 10 La Liga and four Champions League titles.

"Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations)," said FC Barcelona in a statement on Thursday. Lionel Messi Quits Barcelona Due to Financial & Structural Obstacles, Fans Heartbroken With the Sudden Development.

Messi had clinched his maiden Copa America title with Argentina as a free agent last month as he remained without contract with the club during the latter stages of the tournament. His contract had expired on June 30 and had led to speculations over his move elsewhere.

"As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled," the club added.

"FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life," the club said further.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 06, 2021 08:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website