January 22, 2018

Messi To Quit Barcelona if Catalonia Vote For Independence

12 January 2018, 09:22 | Joan Schultz

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has put a condition in his new contract saying that he will leave Barcelona if Catalonia's independence affects the club's situation in the Spanish League and European competitions, according to El Mundo magazine.

After Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two superb saves, Messi effectively finished the match by dribbling to the endline before squaring a pass for Paulinho to tap in for his seventh goal of the season.

It runs until June 2021 and contains a 700 million euro (£623 million) buy-out clause.

"Messi's a great player, but I prefer to talk about my players, who are also very good players, and they're going to make Messi small", Coach Juan Muniz said at a Press conference.

However, reports have emerged that the club's record goalscorer asked for a clause to be included allowing him to depart if Barca was not playing in a top league. "If Catalonia gets independence then Lionel would remain as long as they were in a competitive league".

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Messi's management team could not immediately be reached for comment.

But, after an autumn referendum on independence which authorities in Madrid declared illegal, it dissolved the region's political institutions after they ratified it. Midfield maestro Andres Iniesta is the only other Barcelona player who has as many titles to his name with Barcelona.

The decision was however in response to police violence against would-be voters. Soccer teams rarely play in a league outside their own country, although exceptions exist, such as AS Monaco FC from the principality on the Mediterranean coast which competes in France's Ligue 1.

Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with the opening goal in Barcelona's 3-0 win over struggling Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday as the Catalans prepare to unveil Philippe Coutinho. "I want to continue winning trophies for the club".

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