Skip to main content

Lionel Messi – a timeline of events surrounding the wantaway Barcelona star

Lionel Messi asked to leave Barcelona in August.
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Lionel Messi asked to leave Barcelona last month as the six-time Ballon D’or winner aims for a new challenge.

The LaLiga giants have so far resisted any pressure to allow the 33-year-old to leave, with Manchester City reportedly a highly possible destination.

Here, the PA news agency reviews the events that have led both player and club to an impasse which looks set to remain for some time.

August 14 – Messi and Barcelona are humiliated as they crash out of the Champions League following an 8-2 thrashing by eventual winners Bayern Munich in their one-off quarter-final clash.

Lionel Messi is waving goodbye to Barcelona

Lionel Messi is waving goodbye to Barcelona (Manu Fernandez/AP)

August 17 – Head coach Quique Setien pays the price for the crushing Bayern defeat and finishing second to Real Madrid in LaLiga as he is sacked just over eight months after taking charge at the Nou Camp – his relationship with Messi had reportedly turned sour.

August 19 – Former Barca midfielder Ronald Koeman leaves his job as manager of Holland to take over from Setien, with reports claiming he told Messi he would no longer have the “privileges” he had become accustomed to.

August 25 – Messi sends a burofax to Barcelona chiefs informing them he wishes to leave – with claims of disagreements between the player and the club of the validity of a contract clause which would allow him to move away for free.

August 30 – Messi does not turn up for his scheduled Covid-19 test ahead of Barcelona’s start to pre-season training – meaning he cannot join in with Koeman’s plans. Later in the day LaLiga issues a statement siding with Barcelona in the dispute over whether Messi can depart for nothing.