BARCELONA — Soccer star Lionel Messi is leaving FC Barcelona after a 17-season career with the club that competes in Spain’s LaLiga.
The club announced that 34-year-old player’s departure in a statement on Thursday, citing "financial and structural obstacles."
“Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of Spanish LaLiga regulation on players’ registration,” wrote the club.
The club said Messi won’t be staying on at FC Barcelona as a result of that situation.
“Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled,” the club wrote. “FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandizement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”
In his long career with the club, Messi has seen it win 10 LaLiga titles, NBC News reports.