Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona, the club have confirmed on Thursday evening.
The Blaugana's all-time top scorer and greatest ever player looked set to take a 50 per cent pay cut to stay at the Nou Camp but negotiations did not progress well.
After his previous deal expired on June 30, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will now be leaving his beloved Barca after many trophy-laden years.
A statement read: "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).
"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.
"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."
Messi joined Barcelona from Newell's Old Boys as a 13-year-old and his shock departure well and truly marks the end of an era.
In 778 games, Messi scored 672 goals and registered 305 assists for Barcelona since making his debut in October 2004 against rivals Espanyol.
The 34-year-old has won an incredible 35 honours at the Nou Camp, including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and seven Copa Del Rey trophies.
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