Lionel Messi has been playing at the Camp Nou in Spain for 21 years, or more than half his life. However, for the first time in his professional career, the Argentine will be seen wearing a jersey that is not Barcelona's. The last time was back when he was still a promising 13-years-old talent at Newell's Old Boys in his homeland, Argentina.
While announcing his sudden and unexpected departure, Barcelona revealed that both sides had previously come to an agreement for a long-term five-year contract extension until 2026. Because of the Blaugrana's dire financial condition and La Liga's tight wage limit restrictions, Ronald Koeman's side will be significantly weakened as the superstar forward and the club have been unable to proceed with the new deal.
In the past 15 years, Messi has been the face of Barcelona and his bombshell exit is certainly a huge blow to the club's fortunes. It is trivial whether there was a chance for the 34-year-old to re-sign for the La Liga giants, as he is now on his way to join his former Camp Nou teammate Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi leaves Barcelona: How former and current Barca players reacted to the news
While there is one former Barcelona player who doesn't mind Messi's exit, other former and present-day members of the Blaugrana have taken to social media to express their thoughts and feelings about this move. In the case of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, he has known them for over a decade.
Although some newcomers to the squad, such as adolescent prodigies Pedri and Ansu Fati have enjoyed playing and training with one of football's best players, they have not forgotten it. Find out how have the Barca players responded to the news that Lionel Messi will leave the club after being part of it for a total of 21 years.
How current Barcelona players and Messi teammates have reacted