Lionel Messi was expected to be that one-club guy who would play until the end for Barcelona, where he spent his entire professional career so far. La Liga, however, prevented the Argentine star from renewing with the Catalans due to their financial regulations. Ironically, they are producing one of their worst casualties yet not the first one - Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have previously made a switch.
Messi hasn't known other league asides from the Spanish first tier, having played since 2005 with the Cules first team. La Liga was extremely lucky to see the Rosario-born player becoming one of the greatest of all time while featuring in their competition.
Then again, their regulations have forbidden Barcelona to tie him to a new deal, meaning arguably the biggest talent to ever set foot in the league will be forced to look for another club. Messi has just joined the club of superstars who left La Liga over the last few years.
It's hard to find the words to describe what Messi's stint at La Liga meant. Greatness would sum it up quite well, but there could be many more ways to do so. His stats speak by themselves: 474 goals and 217 assists to his name in 520 appearances.
Additionally, Lionel Messi helped Barcelona win the La Liga title ten times. One of the most beloved and admired players in the world, Messi has provided the Spanish league an added value for fans from all over the world, and now they'll surely miss him. He could have played anywhere he wanted, but it was La Liga who was lucky to have him until now.
The Brazilian superstar has also been part of La Liga in the tournament's golden years, with a Barcelona full of big-name players. Neymar belonged to one of the greatest attacking trios in the league history, setting up a mighty front three with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez - the so-called MSN.
However, Neymar seemed to grow tired of being sort of a supporting actor living under Messi's shadow, so he decided to join PSG in the Ligue 1 in 2017 not only to earn a significant amount of money but to be the team's No. 1 as well. He left his mark in La Liga, though, with 68 goals and 49 assists in 123 appearances.
The Portuguese legend has been of the faces of La Liga since joining Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009. His stint at the Bernabeu also clashed with an unstoppable Messi in Barcelona, forming a sort of rivalry for many fans, even though both of them never seemed to have any sort of competition asides from the one between their teams.
Cristiano's stats in La Liga are completely mind-blowing: 311 goals and 96 assists in 292 games. That's right, he had more goals than appearances in the Spanish top-flight. Therefore, Cristiano leaving Madrid to join Juventus in 2018 was a huge blow for the league, as it has lost a gifted player that won't be replaced easily.