It's been a wonderful ride, but it suddenly came to an end. Lionel Messi will no longer play for Barcelona after 16 seasons with the first team and nearly 21 years since joining La Masía. One of the greatest players of all time - if not the best, the Argentine superstar could have certainly left Barca in a better way after all he has done for the club.
Unfortunately, his journey has come to an abrupt end and he was unable to bid farewell to a packed Camp Nou. Messi is now in PSG ready to embark on his first adventure away from Barcelona, who - again - were incapable of saying goodbye to a legend in the way he deserved.
Messi's departure was probably the most hurtful one for Barca's fans, but they've gone through similar situations before. Here, we'll take a look at the 13 renowned players who have left Barcelona on bad terms.
The day we thought we would never see has finally happened, Lionel Messi has left Barcelona to join another European club. Sadly, his problems with the previous board over the last few years proved costly and, even though Joan Laporta seemed to be on better terms with him, things weren't turned around. Only a year ago, the soccer world was in shock as Messi wanted out amid a terrible relationship with Josep María Bartomeu.
A year left on his contract prevented him from leaving for free, but that situation had a big impact. He didn't sign a new deal and, once a free agent, La Liga's regulations forbid Barca from affording his new contract. He left better than he would have done it in 2020, but the way in which he left is still sour after everything he had lived in Barcelona.
Messi's desire to leave in 2020 didn't come out of the blue. He wasn't the only one to experience a bad moment at the club, if not ask Luis Suárez. The Uruguayan striker has scored 195 goals in six years at Barcelona and he could have left as the superstar he was.
Instead, a phone call was all he got. Ronald Koeman didn't seem to have him on his plans but the situation could have been handled differently. Suárez didn't take long to prove Barca were wrong on this one and went on to win La Liga 2020/21 with Atletico Madrid. Later, he reflected on his exit and stated that Koeman "didn't have much personality."
Samuel Eto'o's stint with Barcelona was one to remember, but things haven't ended well. The Cameroonian star had an impactful first season in 2008/09 when Pep Guardiola's boys won the treble in great fashion.
He had even scored the opening goal in the Champions League final, but Guardiola wouldn't count on him for next season. Eto'o has even stated he loved Pep as a coach, but not as a person, and had a fantastic season with Inter Milan in 2009/10.
The Brazilian megastar left Barcelona after five years in 2002 when Louis van Gaal returned to Camp Nou. Rivaldo had previously played under the Dutchman from 1997 to 2000, but their relationship was never great.
The Ballon d'Or winner had even said that he left because of van Gaal: "I don't like him and I'm sure he doesn't like me either." Rivaldo was still in his prime after winning the 2002 World Cup with Brazil and joined AC Milan.
When we talk about players who left Barcelona on bad terms, Luis Figo will probably be atop the list. The Portuguese star was an idol but the love was over when he joined lifelong rivals Real Madrid right away.
Amid back-and-forth with the Cules' board, Figo signed for the Merengues in 2000 and was part of the Galacticos era. From then on, there was no turning back and the Blaugranas have never forgiven him.
One of the most beloved players in world soccer, the Brazilian sensation was a complete standout during his time with Barcelona. Ronaldinho arrived at Camp Nou in 2003 and helped the club tasting continental glory three years later.
However, things have taken a different direction by 2008, when his relationship with the board was broken and his future at Barca seemed over. Ronaldinho then joined AC Milan, but a few years later he confessed that Pep Guardiola asked him to stay.
Another player who left the club on bad terms with Louis van Gaal, Hristo Stoichkov played for Barcelona from 1990 to 1998 - although he spent a year on loan at Parma in 1995/96, during Johan Cruyff's era at Barca's helm.
The Bulgarian star decided to end his contract with the Cules in 1998, blaming Louis van Gaal for not playing for more than a year. He didn't leave on good terms with Josep Luis Nuñez, Barca's president at that time, either.
Ronaldo's departure from Barcelona was quite shocking. He made a great impression in his first season at Camp Nou, scoring an amazing 47 goals in 49 games in 1996/97, when he was only 20 years old.
They failed to get hold of him, though, as Inter Milan paid his buyout clause. Only five years later, Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid and joined the famous Galacticos in a huge blow for the Cules.
Michael Laudrup was part of the so-called 'Dream Team' under Johan Cruyff's guidance. His best days were at Barcelona, where he landed in 1989 as the Dutchman was keen on signing him. He went on to win four leagues and the club's first European Cup, but things didn't end well.
While his relationship with Cruyff and the board wasn't good anymore, Romario's arrival in 1993 didn't help either, as Barca needed to offload one of their foreign players. In 1994, Laudrup joined Real Madrid in another shocking move for the Catalans.
Romario had a great but short stint at Camp Nou. He signed for Barcelona in 1993, scoring an impressive 32 goals in 47 games in his first season, but didn't last much longer as he and Johan Cruyff didn't get along anymore.
In January 1995, after winning the 1994 World Cup with Brazil, Romario returned home to join Flamengo. Cruyff mentioned that he couldn't care less if he was unhappy and wanted to leave.
Zlatan signed for Barcelona in 2009 due to Pep Guardiola's eagerness to land him while Samuel Eto'o was packing his bags. By the end of the season, however, Ibrahimovic was no longer a priority for Pep.
The Swedish star was replaced in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Inter when Barca were trailing, and that series seemed to end his good relationship with the Spanish manager. Zlatan never returned to the starting XI after Barcelona's elimination and joined Milan in 2010.
Bernd Schuster spent eight years in Barcelona before signing for Real Madrid in 1988. That was just one of the many controversial episodes in his career. Schuster had been in the eye of the storm for abandoning the 1986 European Cup final on a taxi after being replaced.
Despite being one of the Cules best players at the time, he left the club on such bad terms that he didn't mind joining the rivals. In an interview with El Pais, however, he stated that he wasn't looking for revenge, that he was even grateful for his eight seasons with Barca.
Barcelona were the first European club to sign the Argentine legend after the 1982 World Cup. Diego Maradona proved his talent with the Blaugrana and won three titles, but his two seasons were hit by injuries and illness.
In 1982/83 Diego was ruled out for about four months with hepatitis. The following season didn't begin well for him either, as he was sidelined for another three months after Andoni Goikoetxea's ugly challenge. His tenure at Barcelona ended with the infamous 'Battle of Bernabeu', the brawl in the 1983 Copa del Rey final between the Cules and Athletic Bilbao.