After almost two decades with the Spanish giants, Barcelona’s iconic Argentine striker Lionel Messi announced his intention to leave the club — the only professional team he’d played for. The club reported late Tuesday that the Messi had sent a fax to the news service AP expressing his intention to leave.

The announcement comes days after the humiliating 8-2 loss of Barcelona to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League — one of the worst defeats in the player’s career, and the history of the club. The loss ended a tough season for Barcelona – the first without a championship since 2007-08 – and caused one of its worst crises.

The forgettable campaign also saw the sacking of coach Quique Setien, who after taking over from Ernesto Valverde in January remained on the job for just 25 matches. Setien was succeeded by Ronald Koeman of the Netherlands.


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