A year before Lionel Messi left FC Barcelona, the 34-year-old Argentine football icon attempted to leave the Spanish club with a season left on his contract.
In his attempt to do that, he sent a burofax to the then president of FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu in August 2020 to announce his desire to leave the club.
However, FC Barcelona failed to allow him to exit the club. After a series of back and forth, Lionel Messi gave up on his desire to leave. He stayed at the club throughout the 2020-2021 season.
Amid Messi’s transfer saga, Bartomeu resigned as the club’s president, and the process to conduct an election for a new president began. The election produced Joan Laporta as the club’s new president.
Since Messi had just a season left on his contract with Barca then, the key point in Lapprta’s victory speech was that he would ensure that Messi gets a new contract.
Despite the indifferences between him and Barca, Lionel Messi acted like a professional by giving his best for the club throughout the 2020-2021 season. He helped the Spanish giants to win the Copa del Rey which was his last title at the club.
Before he left the club to join up with Argentina for the 2021 Copa America, Barcelona and the representatives of Messi were trying to reach an agreement for a new deal for the record 6 times Ballon d’Or winner.
Unfortunately for the relationship between Messi and Barca, the financial complications at the club stopped the club from offering him a new deal. Hence, he joined PSG in August 2021 for free.
About three weeks after he signed his two-year deal with PSG which reportedly earns him over €960,000-per-week, the burofax he sent to the then Barca president surfaced on the internet.
In the burofax released to Spanish publication, Mundo Deportivo, Lionel Messi tried to make references to the last contract he signed with Barca on November 25, 2017. But all the references he made to the contract did not convince the then president of the club Bartomeu to release him then.
Below is the full content of the burofax Lionel Messi sent to then-Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu
“Dear Mr. Bartomeu.
“Hereby, and by the provisions of clause 3.1 of the contract dated November 25, 2017, I hereby express my wish to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with effect from August 30, 2020.
“I understand that the time frame of the right of unilateral termination without cause regulated by the aforementioned clause must be interpreted by the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019/20 football competition season has taken place, due to the state of emergency and the situation of force majeure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to these exceptional circumstances, the 2019/20 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to the fact that for our team, this end took place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.
“In any case, within 10 days following the end of the season of competition, and thus meeting the agreed deadline for exercising the aforementioned clause 3.1., by the material contract of our agreement, which must be interpreted by the exceptional circumstances of the 2019/20 season, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect from August 30, 2020, with the consequences provided for in the aforementioned stipulation 3.1.
“Lionel Andres Messi.”