By Muhammed Enes Calli
ANKARA (AA) – Barcelona officially confirmed the departure of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi on Thursday due to "financial and structural" issues.
The talks over a new deal between with former team captain and Barcelona broke down as Messi's contract expired in June.
"Despite club and player reaching an agreement and their clear intention to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles," the La Liga club said in a statement.
"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."
Barcelona also expressed gratitude to Messi for his contribution to the club and wished him the best for his future career.
Having spent his entire football career at Barcelona since 2004, the 34-year old forward led the Spanish club to earn 10 La Liga and four UEFA Champions League titles.
The six-time Ballon d'Or holder also won seven Copa del Rey, three FIFA Club World Cups, and three UEFA Super Cups.